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Fred Maas, a San Diegan known for sustainable communities and clean technologies, spearheaded the developmet of the 5100-acre Black Mountain Ranch, an upscale development east of Fairbanks Ranch.

But two couples who live there have filed a putative class-action suit against Black Mountain in Superior Court, complaining that the copper plumbing is so defectiive that water arriving at homes has non-existent residual disinfectant levels and high levels of bacterial growth.

“The resulting copper in the water from the corrosion is so excessive that homeowners have to drink and bathe in water that is actually blue,” according to the suit. "Clothes and fixtures are stained," and “blonde hair [appears] green in color.”

The plaintiffs in the suit filed January 26 are Christian and Dominique Griffin and Brett and Lauren Pernicano. They charge strict liability and negligence. In similar earlier suits in Southern California, the developers have sought indemnification from water districts.

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Visduh Feb. 1, 2018 @ 8:17 p.m.

This is an odd one. I'm wondering if the development decided to avoid the costs of hooking up to an established water district. If so, that would mean drilling well(s), and then using the well water to serve the residents. While I claim no knowledge of how that would work, I think it would make this shared water system into something like a water district.

So, if the well water were contaminated, it could corrode pipes for sure. With no special knowledge of the situation of these people, I can guess that they could easily be suffering with poor-quality water.

I have an acquaintance who has a home not far away, east of Fairbanks. In the water woes times about four years ago, he had a well drilled on his property. He had no intention of using the well water for household purposes; it was just for irrigation. The well found plenty of water, but it was loaded with iron. So, to use the well water, it had to be treated, and so he had a reverse osmosis purifier put in, at considerable cost.

Iron and copper can engage in an electrolytic reaction called a single-replacement, where one replaces the other. With just a little knowledge of that reaction, I'd think it could be due to a process that replaces copper with iron in the plumbing, corroding the copper pipe and loading the water with copper. If that's what is happening, it is nasty and the plaintiffs deserve some relief.


Don Bauder Feb. 2, 2018 @ 6:56 a.m.

Visduh: The suit charges that the corrosive water distributed by Black Mountain caused degradation to the copper plumbing. That allegedly meant that water arriving to the plaintiffs' homes had low- to non-existent disinfectant levels and high levels of bacterrial growth. Best,Don Bauder.


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