Cloudy Tap Water Has South Pasadenans Concerned

Despite assurances that the water is safe for consumption citizens remain nervous

Some South Pasadena residents have expressed concern to city officials that tap water coming out of faucets from their homes is cloudy and discolored.

Rafael Casillas, the interim public works director, has been assuring members of the public the water is safe and does meet health standards. Casillas said most of the residences with the light brown, murky water were constructed using galvanized pipes that are reacting to a new blend of water purchased from the Metropolitan Water District.

“We’re using more Metropolitan Water District water into our system,” explained Casillas. “When we introduced that water with our ground water we started to see the chemicals react differently. The chemical reaction also reacts to the pipes that are in place. In places where there is not enough circulation at the end of a line or low volume, it starts to change in color. We’re used to having a higher concentration of ground water. Now with a different blend it reacts differently.”

- Advertisement -

Like other communities, Casillas said the City of South Pasadena is “doing a more aggressive flushing program in those pockets where we are finding it,” he said, noting that the effort has been effective and taking care of the issue.

Water main flushing is designed to clean and maintain the city’s water system. As part of the operation, water is forced through underground water mains at high speeds and flushed out to remove accumulated sediment.

Despite all the safeguards in place, some are still apprehensive about the water quality in the city. “I definitely don’t want to drink it,” resident Meg McLaughlin told NBC Los Angeles. “But we have been bathing in it and doing our dishes in it. I don’t really cook with it. We use bottled water.”

Casillas said he takes all calls seriously and they are logged and reported to the state. He said crews will go to the site where a complaint is made and test the water quality.

“The water is safe,” insisted Casillas, noting that his department received about 10 calls in March and another 20 in April from residents concerned about discolored water. “All the numbers are reported to the state board.”

Casillas is urging the public to report incidents of cloudy water to the city’s water division. “They will make note of it,” he said. “Our crews will go out, check it and make sure that everything is fine and the water is safe to drink.”

“At this point, I think we’ve responded to every place that we’ve heard concerns.

Last week the City of Compton was also facing discolored water concerns from residents.