Commercial and residential property owners connected to a municipal water system in Santa Clara County are responsible for the water service line into and throughout the building or home. In some jurisdictions, this starts at the meter pit or curb stop (valve). In others, the owner’s responsibility extends all the way to the tap on the city's main water line, most often located in the street in front of the property.
Older water lines were originally installed using lead or galvanized steel pipe. Over time these materials wear out or get damaged by ground movement, tree roots, etc. In the case of galvanized steel pipe, the galvanized coating eventually wears off and they begin to rust, resulting in water leaks requiring repair or replacement.
Lead water lines eventually become brittle, corrode, and fragments of the corroded lead can chip off and be swept into tap water. Pinholes and cracks will result, eventually causing the lead line to leak and or rupture, which then will require a water line replacement.
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