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Murky water safe to drink — says who?

Water in Compton in some instances as murky as ‘coffee and mud’; who'd drink that? Rep. Janice Hahn fired off a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, today [June 16], requesting that the EPA

Water in Compton in some instances as murky as ‘coffee and mud’; who’d drink that?

Rep. Janice Hahn fired off a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, today [June 16], requesting that the EPA work with the California State Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water to test the safety of water in Compton after complaints of murky and mud colored tap water surfaced recently.

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is the publisher and editor of the Compton Herald.

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is the publisher and editor of the Compton Herald.

Hahn took action to look further into the matter after she said “Compton city officials [at the Water Utility Division]” told her office “they believe the problem is due to sediment build up in the city’s aging cast iron pipes” and insist the water is safe to drink.

Hahn’s letter read in part:

“Dear Administrator McCarthy … I am writing regarding the water quality in Compton, California, one of the cities that I represent in Congress.  Over the last few weeks, many residents have reported murky and discolored tap water [and] out of an abundance of caution, I have requested that the EPA coordinate with the California State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water to test the water in areas of Compton that residents have expressed concerns with their water quality,” Hahn said. “This testing will ensure the health and safety of the residents of Compton.”

Murky, discolored water should not be deemed safe to drink for any reason. That may occur in rural Third World nations with rudimentary water purification systems, but Compton is not a Third World nation.

One of three divisions falling under The Public Works Municipal Utilities Department (the others are Street Maintenance Division and Public Works Engineering Division) the Water Division is responsible for implementing the City of Compton’s utility services programs.

To achieve the objectives of these programs, the Division constructs, inspects, maintains and repairs water mains, gate valves, fire hydrants and domestic water services to provide adequate portable water to the citizens of Compton.

A statement on the city’s Water Utility Division website regarding water quality reads:

“The City of Compton vigilantly safeguards its water supply and, as in years past, the water delivered to your home meets the standards required by the state and federal regulatory agencies. In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the city monitors over 100 compounds in your water supply. In some cases, the city goes beyond what is required to monitor for additional contaminants that have known health risks.”

The statement is reassuring, but the insistence that muddy, coffee-colored water is safe to drink, is not.

The Compton Herald would caution Water Utility Division personnel to cease making such statements, as no citizen of Compton in their right mind would ever drink, or cook, with tap water the color of mud.

Similar problems were recently reported in Watts, to which Hahn moved quickly requesting EPA testing of water in the affected areas. The tests which came back reported no health hazard to the Watts community.

The Compton Herald applauds Congressperson Hahn’s expeditious attention to the city’s water woes. That’s governance we can all get behind.

 

 

 

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.

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