Compton, Willowbrook residents getting new source after dealing with 'contaminated' water

COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Residents of Compton and Willowbrook will hopefully be able to drink clear water again. That's because the water supply will be piped in from a different source.

Nearly 7,000 customers who live in the old Sativa Water District complained for months about murky brown water with a foul odor coming from their pipes.

The work to get the area clean water has been going on for months as crews clean up the existing infrastructure. Los Angeles County, which now has control of the water district, is taking old wells offline and connecting them to a neighboring water company.

RELATED: State orders dissolution of Sativa Water District, LA County will take over

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The state water board has ordered the dissolution of the Sativa Water District, which has been plagued by reports of murky and smelly tap water in Compton and Willowbrook.

Residents in the area are very excited.

"They are working very hard with the community so that they can have clean water," said resident Elizabeth Hicks.

The brown water was due to manganese from old pipes, but engineers say the system's wells were also part of the problem. They will now take the wells offline and connect to a neighboring water company.

Traces of lingering brown water could still be seen during the transition as crews flush the system out.

"We're taking all types of mitigation measures to try to minimize that," said the project's lead manager, Russ Bryden. "So for example, this deep cleaning, this flushing that's going to occur, we're going to be doing that overnight, when people use the least amount of water so if there any is any disturbance, the hope is that it happens overnight, that we're able to contain it."

Bottled water will be available to residents during the transition.

Officials say the work on the water pipes should be finished by Sept. 15.
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