Southern California

Gardena Residents Demand Answers About Black, Foul-Smelling Water

A water company blames aging pipes for murky water and vows to fix the problem.

Carrying murky water in jars as samples, residents in Gardena on Thursday demanded answers from a water company about black, foul-smelling tap water that is pouring from their faucets, toilets and showers.

Some residents say their stomachs turn every time they turn on the faucet.

"You know what?" Mina Colunga said during a meeting Thursday night. "I'd like you to come to my house and drink my water and tell me it's fine."

Golden State Water Company blames sediments from aging pipelines.

"What we've identified as the best thing to do is flushing our pipes," said Kate Nutting, the Golden State Water Company southwest district general manager.

Diana Morita brought a water sample from her home after she says the water company paid her a visit.

"This is after you flushed it, so how is that flushing my area?" Morita said.

Some residents say the water is to blame for recent health problems such as eczema and rashes.

But even after seeing the samples, Golden State Water Company officials insist the water is safe to drink.

"I understand that it's aesthetically displeasing and that they're not a lot of people who would want to drink that water, but, yes, we meet all drinking water standards," Nutting said.

Water company officials say they test the water for bacteria once a week and that it meets all federal and state standards. Officials say the best solution would be to replace all the pipelines in the city. They aim replace 1 percent of the pipes a year.

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