Residents who rely on the Sativa Water District to provide services have complained for months about brown water running through their taps. Now Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn is stepping forward with a solution in voting in her capacity as a member of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to initiate the dissolution of the troubled water supplier.
The small district, which supplies water for 1,600 customers in Willowbrook and Compton, has come under fire from residents and city and county officials for its unreliable service. The motion to initiate the dissolution of the district was approved by the LAFCO board members.
“People have a right to clean, safe water,” Hahn said. “Dissolving the Sativa Water District is the first step to ensuring these residents get the clean, drinkable water that they deserve.”
In April, customers reported brown water running through their taps. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health conducted testing and determined that while the brown water posed no health risks, it did contain high levels of manganese. The brown water has prevented many customers from drinking, cooking, or bathing in the water and forced many to switch to using costly bottled water.
A LAFCO staff report found that the Sativa Water Board suffers from ongoing operational issues, including a lack of adequate water sources and storage capacity, an absence of water meters, aging water mains, inadequate operational and management resources, and an inactive contaminated well that needs to be properly destroyed.
Hahn asked for an amendment to the staff recommendation to explore a ratepayer subsidy to help relieve the cost burden of needed repairs and upgrades to the system. Her amendment passed unanimously.