After the groundwater was found to be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals, Lomita officials have now swapped out the water and are now offering residents a water facility tour. The chemical, benzene, a known carcinogen, was recently discovered after a state test found it "in groundwater at levels almost three times higher than is allowed in California," Daily Breeze reports.
The reservoir, which blends local groundwater and more expensive imported water, was initially purchased for a staggering $6.5 million labeling it the priciest capital expenditure in Lomita's history.
“The residents were sold the reservoir on the mistaken belief that in a major emergency, we would have a multi-day supply of water already in our city for firefighting and drinking,” said resident George Kivett via the social media site NextDoor.com. “Basically, the tank doesn’t work as planned.”
Taste and odor has long been an issue with the water as well.
"Sometimes we smell the rotten egg smell and they keep saying it's all within standards," one woman says to KFI's Corbin Carson.
Another woman stated that she does not use any of the water offered.
"I'm having Costco delivery water. I have gone through Brittas and Zero waters and refrigerator filters. You just can't drink the water."
Homeowners in Lomita say a 13-million dollar solution to the city’s smelly, contaminated water isn’t working. The facility has now replaced the contaminated water with expensive imports. Authorities, however, state that the replacement is only a temporary solution.
Residents can now opt in to take tours of the Cypress Avenue Water Production facility to ensure the water they are drinking is safe.
"The facility is working except for the recent detection of benzene. So the facility is doing what is was designed to do in that it's providing local water to our residents," says City Manager Ryan Smoot.
Smoot says it’s unclear where the cancer-causing chemical is coming from or when the facility will be back in operation. He is hoping that the tours will ease concerns.
"The more our residents see where the water comes from. The more they see how our operations work. The more they understand what's going on and the better our community can be served." Smoot said.
Residents can sign-up for the hour-long tours by calling 310-325-7110, extension 155, or by filling out a form online at LomitaWater.com.