Water is safe, utility says in response to reports of discolored water in Gardena

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Water Company Says 'Sludge' Coming from Faucets Is Safe


BY MELISSA PAMER, KAREEN WYNTER AND KIMBERLY CHENG

Several days after a Gardena woman posted video to YouTube of black water coming out of her faucet and toilet, the utility that services her area responded Tuesday.

The Golden State Water Company said the "extreme case of discolored water" was an "isolated event" and that water provided to customers in the South Bay city is safe.

The Gardena customer contacted the company on Jan. 21, and investigators responded, Kate Nutting, general manager of the company's southwest district, said in the statement.

"We took immediate action to clear the customer's pipes, and during the period since the investigation the customer's water has remained clear," Nutting said. "We have been performing daily checks since the report of discolored water was received last week, and all reports indicate that the water currently being provided to customers is clear."

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Other customers may have experienced "slightly discolored water," but the company said the extreme discoloration had not recurred for the customer's neighbors.

Since KTLA aired a story Monday about Diane Morita, who posted YouTube video of water that she called "disgusting," several other South Bay residents have contacted the station about water problems.

Gardena resident Scott Arroyo said he was spending $30 per month to change out water filter he installed to stop "nasty water."

"It was getting to the point where we had to install a filter. Otherwise, we were going to bed with rashes and itchy every night," Arroyo said. "It's just becoming a pain."

The company put him on a "VIP treatment," he said. When they come to flush the water, it's brown, Arroyo said.

Another Gardena resident, Auri Morimoto, said her water had a foul odor that smelled like sulphur.

"I turned it off right away, and I went in the back to the other faucet," Morimoto said. "Still the same - black is coming out."

The statement from Golden State Water Company said slight discoloration is sometimes the result of sediment in the water pipes.

The company's staff is investigating each discoloration report independently, according to the statement.

"This slight discoloration is not uncommon in water distribution systems, and we are flushing the local water system to address the issue," the statement read. "Flushing activities are expected to continue for the next several weeks."

The water provided in Gardena meets federal drinking water standards, the company said, adding that it was in contact with state drinking water regulators and city leaders over the concerns.

Golden State Water Company services about 257,000 customers in 75 California communities, according to the website of its San Dimas-based parent, publicly traded American States Water Company.

Family Told 'Sludge' Coming Out of Faucet Is Safe to Drink


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