One Year Later the Water in Gardena is still Undrinkable

While former Porter Ranch residents wonder if it’s safe yet to go home, residents of a Southern California city, Gardena, continue to be plagued with dirty water a year after they first reported the problem to local officials.

Last year, some Gardena residents started complaining about the quality of their tap water when brown or black water gushed out of some faucets, smelling like rotten eggs or sewage.

Residents demanded action from local officials, including Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Torrance), and famed environmental activist Erin Brockovich even got involved.

A year later, officials said that they’ve worked hard to improve the water quality and that the issues have been largely fixed.

But some residents say they’re not sure the problem is gone for good.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Hadley told Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, that in the past two weeks alone he received 75 postcards about water.

Gardena Councilman Dan Medina, meanwhile, said the problem with the city’s water dates to 2006, when he started fielding complaints about smelly water. He said those complaints grew worse, citing skin and respiratory problems among the concerns.

Denise Kruger, senior vice president of regulated utilities for Golden State Water Co. of San Dimas, a public utility serving Gardena, said it had not received complaints or any issues for quite some time and that the issue had been fixed.

Golden State Water Co. officials countered Medina’s claims, saying the problem began in late 2014 and worsened at the beginning of 2015, according to company data.

Around that time, videos of black water gushing out of faucets surfaced and began to get media attention. Water Co. officials blamed the problem on sediment that had built up in some of Gardena’s aging pipes.

What do you think the residents of Gardena should do? We’d love to hear from you.