Benzene

The City of Lomita is responding to a detection of benzene at the City’s single groundwater well, Well No. 5, and is working with the State to investigate the source and hold accountable any parties responsible.

The City’s water sampling and testing program confirmed results of an annual water quality test conducted in May 2019 that showed levels of benzene exceeding State standards. The City immediately took the well offline and transitioned to importing water through its approved backup sources to eliminate benzene exposure.

In 2018, the City’s regular annual sampling showed benzene at a level well below the State’s threshold for health and safety but above the detection limit. Because samples were not collected between May 2018 and May 2019, the City cannot be sure of the water quality during that time.  It is important to note that the City’s normal operations include the provision of raw water blended with pre-treated imported water (generally approximately a 40/60 blend). As such, levels in the water that reached City residents were likely much lower than detected in the ground water alone.

The City is moving forward with planned upgrades to the Cypress Water Production Facility (CWPF) that will not only enhance the water’s aesthetics, per residents’ requests, but are also the industry standard for removing benzene. The City has expedited the upgrades and looks forward to returning CWPF back to full normal operations.

Information on this page, including Benzene News and Benzene FAQs, will continue to be updated as additional details become available. If you have questions about this matter, please send us your feedback by clicking on the “Contact Us” tab.