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Gardena Residents Have Disgusting Drinking Water

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The water company insists the sludgy stuff is fine to drink

There's something in the water in Gardena, and it's probably caused by sediment buildup and dirty pipes. A year ago, Gardena residents began complaining that black, sludgy water was pouring out of their faucets and demanded a response from the water provider, Golden State Water Company. Meanwhile, the situation in the South Bay city was bad enough that Erin Brockovich held community meetings to discuss taking legal action.

None of this seems to have worked, however. The LA Times reports that residents are still complaining about gross water problems, despite claims from Golden State Water Co. that "the issue has been fixed." Last Tuesday, Assemblyman David Hadley said that he had received more than 75 complaints about the water "just in the last two weeks."

According to the Daily Breeze, residents complained to Hadley about the foul odor and discoloration of their tap water. "The smell, taste, and quality of the water are not good," wrote one resident. "Our laundry is brown."

In spite of the outcry over the water last year, the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates state water providers, was apparently unaware of the problems. When Hadley asked for the commission to intervene, President Michael Picker said "I should probably know more about Gardena but I haven’t seen the complaints." He added that he would be "happy to...go into this one deeper." Presumably, he wasn't talking about a Gardena swimming pool.

In light of the recent complaints, Brockovich took to Facebook to urge the CPUC to take action on behalf of Gardena residents. "The California Public Utilities Commission must rule immediately that if drinking water utilities they regulate like Golden State Water Company don't meet basic water quality parameters or continue to plague them with serious property damage issues (plumbing, water heaters, appliances) they are no longer protected by agency primacy," she wrote.