City manager gives update on pinhole leak issue

Last week, the city of Webster City released a statement concerning pinhole leaks that many residences and businesses in the community have been experiencing. Monday night, City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez spoke to the issue during the regular session of the City Council.

The leaks have been occurring in copper pipes, according to Ortiz, and at this time the city is collecting information, trying to find the cause and a solution for the problem.

“We’re working with Bolten and Menk, our contracted water and wastewater engineers. They are reviewing all the information related to our water supply system both the combination of the water source which is the Jordan Aquifer to the process to any other issue,” Ortiz said. “They are trying to get a better understanding of what’s going on.”

At this time, they are uncertain of the cause, he said.

The statement from the city last week noted that other cities have had similar conditions arise with pinhole leaks.

“There has really been no clear indication of what might be causing the leaks,” he said. “In some of those communities, (the leaks) have just seemed to go away over time, for whatever reason.”

Ortiz added that the city has been working with the Department of Natural Resources and have been working with them since the problem first arose. In the past few months, the city, with guidance from the DNR, has been monitoring for corrosiveness of the city’s water.

“There have been a great number of additional cases that have arisen in the past two weeks which has elevated this for the DNR and our engineers,” he said. “I spoke with the DNR this morning about the water quality and whether it is safe to drink. All of our water meets the safe drinking standards that they regulate.”

“So the city water is safe to drink,” Mayor John Hawkins said.

Ortiz said the city has not been asked to take any corrective action related to the water quality. If an issue with the water safety developed, the DNR would issue compliance orders for the city to correct problems.

“Water samples get sent to the state hygienic lab for testing. If there are any issues with the samples those issues are also immediately forwarded to the DNR for their review and processing and to execute any corrective action,” he explained.

Ortiz said the state officials said that the pinhole leaks are not something that are seen on a regular basis and are somewhat perplexed about the cause.

“We’re still trying to gather information, and hopefully we’ll get some answers, but it will take some time to process all of that information,” Ortiz said.

 

View this article as it originally appeared in the Daily Freeman-Journal.