The South Pasadena Public Works Department has recently responded to several customer reports of cloudy and discolored water in certain areas of the City. Although the water may appear different, it is safe to drink. Testing shows the water meets United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW) standards.   The quality changes are the result of water chemistry from various sources blending in a reaction with the city’s water mains and residential pipes.  This is a temporary condition resulting from a new water blending requirement to comply with new State regulations regarding 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (123-TCP).  The issue will be resolved later this year when blending will no longer be required.

The water clarity delivered to customers is dependent on the source blend of surface water and groundwater. The reports of cloudy and discolored water are a result of the introduction of Metropolitan Water District (MWD) surface water into the City’s water distribution system. Both surface water and groundwater supplies are approved water sources that meet or exceed State and Federal drinking water standards. However, the chemistry of water supply from the different sources and the reaction with the City’s water mains and residential pipes, can result in visual changes, including cloudiness or discoloration.

Some areas of the City are more impacted than others as a result of low flow and infrastructure design.  The effects are also predominately experienced by dwellings with old galvanized piping, especially apartment units where water tends to stagnant in the pipes.  The Public Works Department hand delivered letters to impacted residents and has been meeting with property owners in impacted areas.  Residents are being asked to flush their water for a few minutes to alleviate the discoloration.   The Water Division has also increased flushing of the system in impacted areas to help mitigate these conditions.

Testing at the reservoirs and pump station track water quality on a continuous basis and weekly samples are obtained from predetermined locations that are representative of the entire water system.  All reports indicate the City’s water quality is well within the safety standards established by the State.

Discolored or cloudy water can be reported to the Public Works Department, Water Division, at (626) 403-7240.

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