Fife’s Water Quality
The City of Fife currently purchases all of our water from the City of Tacoma and the water quality is very high, particularly since the new filtration plant was started over a year ago. The lead that has been found in segments of Tacoma’s water supply does not come from the water, it instead comes from the piping. In situations like this, the lead almost always comes from the piping materials and fixtures in customer’s homes, and/or the buried service lines on both the customer and City side of the water meter which contain some amount of lead. As the water sits in contact with piping and fixtures that contain or are made of lead, it leaches out some of that lead into the drinking water. The longer the contact time between the piping and the water the more lead will be leached out.
To reduce the amount of lead which a customer might normally be exposed to it is always recommended that users flush their faucets for a couple of minutes if the water has not been used in an extended period (6 or more hours) or several seconds (10 – 15 seconds) if it has been used recently before drinking or cooking with it. It is important to note that warm or hot water leaches lead out of piping and fixtures faster than cold water, so always use cold tap water for drinking or cooking with and then heat it.
The City of Fife, like Tacoma, does routine monitoring for the presence of lead in targeted homes, based on age and plumbing materials known to exist or commonly in use at that time. Fife is currently on a 3 year testing cycle, last monitoring occurred in the summer of 2013, with the next round of testing scheduled for July/August of this year. We began monitoring residential at risk customers in 1992 as part of the “Lead & Copper Rule”. Fife’s monitoring shows that we are in compliance with the State and Federal health standards as established under the Safe Drinking Water Act. To the City’s knowledge we have no lead water service lines or goosenecks, nor do we have any lead jointed water mains in our water system. These practices had generally been stopped before the formation of Fife’s water system.
If you have questions or inquiries regarding the presence of lead in Fife’s drinking water, or any water quality issue, please call (253) 922-9315.