Volunteers on horseback inform residents on upgrades to water system serving Compton, Willowbrook

COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Volunteers on horseback rode down the streets of Compton Sunday, informing residents of upgrades coming to their water supply.

Compton's equestrian community had riders on horseback going around the neighborhood, handing out flyers with information to residents who live in the old Sativa Water District that serves nearly 7,000 residents in Compton and Willowbrook.

Phase one for a new water supply begins Monday. As part of ongoing infrastructure repair, the Los Angeles County Public Works Department will make start flushing out the system and make an emergency connection to Liberty Utility, a neighboring water company.

For months, residents complained about murky brown water with a foul odor coming from their pipes.

Residents said the water has become unbearable.

"I've been living (here) over 47 years. Water has gotten bad. I took one of my filters around and showed it to them, it's off the chart. You can't drink the water, it's hard to even take a bath in it," Burnett Burlee said.

The brown water was due to manganese from the 70-year-old pipes, but engineers say the system's wells were also part of the problem.

MORE: 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.



The first phase is expected to be completed Sept. 15.

During the flushing process, customers may still see periodic spikes in brown water.

"We've really tried to hit the outreach hard to make sure the folks understand what we're doing, how this is going to help them, so this is another piece of that outreach," Russ Bryden, administrator of L.A. County Public Works, said.

Officials are handing out bottled water to residents as they work to install new water lines and filtrations.
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