Acting on an urgency motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Board of Supervisors activated a strike team to investigate reports that brown water is running through taps in Willowbrook and Compton, and to take immediate steps to prevent any serious risks to public health.
In recent months, several customers of the independently operated Sativa Water District have complained about discoloration in their water supply.
“This is alarming,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “While it is ultimately the state that holds the authority to regulate Sativa’s water quality, all state and local entities have a moral obligation to ensure our residents have safe and clean water.”
“It is incumbent upon the County Department of Public Health to investigate immediately,” he added. “If there is a health risk, we are committed to working with state regulators to come up with immediate and long-term solutions.”
Ridley-Thomas’ motion also calls on County agencies to determine whether appropriate management and governance of the water district is in place to address Sativa’s existing infrastructure issues and ensure that customers have ongoing access to clean and safe water. This could include working with the Local Agency Formation Commission and the State Water Resources Control Board to explore options to dissolve Sativa and identify a more sustainable water purveyor for the area.
Sativa currently has about 1,600 customers in the unincorporated community of Willowbrook and the City of Compton.