Home Builder has filed a complaint to fight Water District alleging water supplied by the district produces leaks in pipes.

SANTA ANA: Several homebuilders now have submitted claims in the Orange County Superior Court asserting tap water made available from the two South County water districts is corroding water pipes, inducing leaks that require hundreds of thousands of dollars for copper repiping repair and installation.

Shapell Industries reported their grievance Nov 2, claiming drinking water brought to you by Moulton Niguel Water District for Shapell homes located in two or more Laguna Niguel residential districts; San Joaquin Hills in addition to Hillcrest were treated with chloramine, a disinfectant that Shapell says is known to cause pinhole leaks in the pipes of homeowners throughout the area.

The claim states Shapell “will need to refurbish and change out plumbing in nearly 600 homes” in those local communities. The issue could not identify the volume of family homes that have leaks. The developer is wanting greater than $4 million in damages, stating defective products, negligence, private nuisance and infringement of service.

MNWD offers service to 45,000 condos and corporations in Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills and parts of Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano.

“The only customers complaining in regard to these pipe leaks live in residences made by Shapell within these pair of locations,” MNWD general manager Bob Gumerman said in his statement. “If our water is cause for blame, the particular issue would be common.”

Gumerman stressed the district’s water meets or is greater than federal and state water-quality conditions which is safe for consuming and additional purposes. He explained Shapell has never presented documents on how MNWD’s water supply has caused pin-hole water leaks in homes. Multiple phone calls to the attorneys which represent Shapell were not returned.

Gumerman says Moulton Niguel receives its water supply from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, who imports it from the Colorado River as well as the State Water Project, a system of storage plants, tanks and lakes. As outlined by its blog, MWD utilizes chloramine, a mixture of chlorine and ammonia, within the water treatment system to eliminate bacteria in standard water.

MWD also offers water to the Santa Margarita Water District, which usually services the remainder of Mission Viejo as well as Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch along with the Talega regional community in San Clemente. MWD and SMWD were named as defendants within a challenge lodged Feb. 10 by Lennar Homes connected with pin hole pipe leaks in more aged pipes within the Verano neighborhood of Talega.

Lennar’s complaint states leaks in galvanized piping in 59 Verano models “are a primary and/or additional result of corrosive, overly aggressive anderroneously treated water” supplied by the districts. Lennar is seeking the districts to become held answerable for the leaking as well as any fees, harms or settlements incurred by Lennar brought on by the pipe leaks.

Newmeyer & Dillion attorney at law Carol Zaist, which happens to be representing Lennar, said the developer won’t talk about impending legal matters.

Newmeyer & Dillion additionally handles homebuilder Standard Pacific, which lodged a claim sent to the district in January located 74 family homes in Ladera Ranch and Talega where the homeowners have reported pinhole leaks in piping and associated damage to property. The declaration was initially turned down by SMWD officials, although the latest scientific tests may turned around this original evaluation.

SMWD spokeswoman Michele Miller reported the district doesn’t modify or modify the water available from MWD, even noting SMWD water complies with or is higher than domestic water quality guidelines. Concerning the negative effects of drinking water treatment methods, “the district believes that there isn’t information to suggest how the region’s water supply is causing a corrosive influence on galvanized plumbing.”

Marc Edwards is known as a Virginia Tech municipal and environmental engineering instructor and a nationwide identified expert on pipe corrosion. A portion of his attempts are to learn the causes of pipe breakdowns and how to put an end to them. He stated that a range of cases are appearing in California and he expects to become used as the expert witness.

“We’ve succesfully done more than likely more than a million dollars of evaluation throughout the last nine years,” Edwards said. “Today we have found that water chemistry and harsh water are key contributing factors of pinhole leaks.

“We are aware that other reasons are often connected, including severe velocity in water lines and inferior installation procedures, and for that reason each claim normally takes somewhat intensive forensic evaluation as a way to establish the potential contributing factor and treatment,” he included.

Edwards said similar requirements carried out to make drinking water safer may well be producing pinhole water leaks. Despite the fact disinfectants are required, far too much in a number of waters may just be corrosive. He said reports on chloramine has shown it on its own doesn’t seem to create pinhole leaks in water lines, nevertheless “it is possible, even expected, that chloramine plus other factors within the water might be extremely corrosive.”

Although they probably have excellent intentions, enhancements to fulfill regulations may just be having unintentional consequences, Edwards had said.

“You’ll find that there’s a whole lot we do understand,” he was quoted saying. “We have completely recognized that water could be a cause; not the only cause, but an underlying reason. However, there is a whole lot we still don’t realize.”

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