In Response to: Letter to Residents from the City

Letter to the Editor:

Many South Pasadena residents have been experiencing brown/yellow water for the past 8 weeks, which coincides with the city switching from well water to a municipal water source in order to avoid being in violation of a new law governing the amount of 123-TCP that is permitted in our water.  No one wants 123-TCP in our water…but no one wants to drink this brown/yellow water either.  Or wash vegetables with it, shower in it, bathe their kids in it, or have their clothes be stained by washing whites in it.

On April 18th, five weeks after our water turned brown/yellow, the City of South Pasadena delivered a letter in which it stated: “testing shows the water meets USEPA, State Water Resources Control Board, and DDW standards.”  On May 4th, the South Pasadena Review published a “Letter to Residents from the City” but did not represent the Residents’ point of view.  Here’s the gist:

The letter suggested that we should flush our pipes, which doesn’t clear up the water.  It wastes water and drives up our water bills.

Due to this recommended flushing, our water bills have risen.  We are paying more for brown/yellow water.  This is especially offensive since the City Council increased water rates effective January 1, 2018.

When the city flushes the mains, the water is not recycled or used on public green spaces.  It is simply allowed to run down the street and into the sewer.

A neighbor emailed the City Manager’s office, Public Works Office, and the City Council on April 23.  She asked for an analysis of the situation and a solution timeline.  She never heard back.  Since the April 18th letter, it’s been radio silence.  No updates.

What are we seeking?

An honest explanation of what, specifically, is changing the color of the water. Rust?  Manganese (which was found last week to be in Compton’s water at levels 50% above secondary standards)?  Lead?  If they are suggesting we drink it and bathe in it, we want to know the potential short and long term effects of consuming it.  We’d like the water tested at our homes, where the main lines meet our house lines with end results that make clear what is causing the discoloration and odor…and how those elements fall within the State Guidelines, as they assert.

An open and RESPONSIVE line of communication with honest answers as to the IMMEDIATE steps being taken to solve it.  They city flushes the mains but it doesn’t help and they won’t commit to a date when we will have clear clean water again.     

Installation of, or a rebate for, a complimentary whole house filter from the main line to our homes.

A refund on our water bills as a result of excess water use due to recommended flushing.

My neighbors and I care deeply about South Pasadena.  We pay dearly for real estate and taxes.  We are entitled to CLEAN, CLEAR drinking water that is of the highest quality.  And we expect the full support of our Mayor and City Council to help us get it.  I’m appealing to our city leaders as residents of South Pasadena, as parents, as neighbors and as human beings to do the right thing

– Heidi Mayne