Discolored Tap Water in Compton, California ‘Poses No Threat to Residents’ Health’


Residents of Compton are concerned about the safety of muddy, rust-colored water coming from their taps, according to My News LA.

Maria Rachelle Garza, a general manager at Sativa Los Angeles County Water District, said, “[The water quality] meets state regulations and federal regulations, and it is rigorously tested and all of this data is provided to state water [regulators],” says CBS Los Angeles.

A new program to remove mineral buildup from deep well water in Compton’s 80-year-old pipes has involved flushing of the pipes, a process which the local water district performs four times a year. “Water delivered to homes during our flushing process may be discolored, but it poses no threat to residents’ health and is safe,” agency officials said.

At a news conference, the district agency demonstrated this flushing process to angry, shouting residents by opening a fire hydrant and releasing a flow of clear water. Garza attempted to relieve residents’ fears, says My News LA. “What I can assure everybody is the water we provide to the homes is the same water you saw outside in the flushing,” Garza said.


Compton residents, however, remain skeptical about the water’s safety, according to ABC. Karen Lewis is one of these residents. “I want to see them dip children or their grandchildren in that water or drink it or cook with it,” she said. “It is not safe.”

Another resident, Eddie Lewis, said, “We see them here flushing that water hydrant but then half an hour later the water is brown.”

“We’re scared,” said Compton resident Marth Barajas. “We hear about all these illnesses that can come from dirty water and we are in fear.”

While California Water Boards inspectors collected water samples from some local homes. The results of these tests are still pending, says My News LA.

Residents aren’t the only ones alarmed by the tap water’s rust-colored appearance. Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said that the county should intervene in response to reports he called “alarming.”

“Sativa customers deserve full confidence that their water is safe and clean,” Ridley-Thomas said, according to My News LA. Solutions to the problem involve the possibility of dissolving Sativa in favor of finding “a more sustainable water purveyor for the area,” he said.

The Board of Supervisors has unanimously voted to compose a team which will assess Sativa’s ability to provide clean water.