Brown, murky and smelly water continues to plague Compton, Willowbrook residents

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Dirty water continues to plague Compton, Willowbrook residents
Residents in Compton and Willowbrook said despite what Sativa Water District officials are saying - their water is still murky, brown and now it smells.

COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- A few months ago, water in hundreds of Compton and Willowbrook homes came out brown and murky. But now, the people in charge of keeping the water clean said the quality has "improved tremendously."

The Sativa Los Angeles County Water District said since April, it's flushed out sediment from old iron pipes and pumped water from a clean well.

All of this would be great news for Jenoveva Carmago - if her water wasn't still brown. But not only is it brown, it has brown bits inside of it and smells, she said.

She is one of many people continually fighting to get cleaner water even though officials said it's safe to drink.

"I'm not able to shower my kids with this water because they don't want to. We don't brush our teeth. We don't wash with this water," Carmago said.

Now even the state is getting involved. Gov. Jerry Brown is considering a bill that would dissolve the current water district so a public or private company can take over.

Thomas Martin, the interim general manager for Sativa, claims water rates could triple under a private company. The eight current employees could all lose their jobs without any recourse.

"All water districts have a right to a public hearing. In our case, we won't have a right. We believe that's undemocratic and draconian," Martin said.

But residents said the problem has been going on for several years and enough is enough.

In front of the water district Monday, protesters set up a booth and had gone door-to-door in support of the bill and to get signatures to recall the board members.