FAQs

Like other public water agencies in Los Angeles County, Lomita Water depends on two sources of water. Approximately 35-40% of our domestic water supply is groundwater pumped from the West Coast Basin, and the remainder is imported water purchased from the West Basin Municipal Water District, which purchases directly from Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD).

Our water comes from the Colorado River, Northern California and local groundwater, with the mix varying throughout the year. The groundwater is pumped from hundreds of feet below the ground. That pumping process can sometimes result in aeration, or the mixing of air with water. Aeration creates small bubbles in the water that are harmless, but may give the water a cloudy appearance. This mixing of air into the water is also very common with the Metropolitan Water District aqueducts that typically run very full during the summer months.

Tip: If your water looks cloudy, pour some water into a clear glass and let it sit for a minute. As the air bubbles leave the water, the cloudiness will generally disappear. If the cloudiness does not clear, call Lomita Water at (310) 325-7110.

Absolutely not! Bottled water and tap water are regulated by different agencies. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the main federal law that ensures the quality of your tap water.

Under SDWA, the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) sets standards for drinking water quality and mandates that water purveyors provide customers with a printed water quality report each year. The water provided to you by Lomita is clean, pure and ready to drink at a fraction of the cost of bottled water.

Before choosing an alternative to tap water, compare the data contained in the Lomita Water Annual Water Quality Report with water quality data from the bottled water or filtration device you are considering. The decision to use bottled water or a filtration system should be based on taste or other aesthetic considerations, not due to health or safety concerns.

Water hardness refers to the mineral content in the water, largely made up of calcium and magnesium. The City’s water supply is generally between 260 and 300 ppm.

Although the hardness of the water does not affect its safety, the higher mineral content can cause white spots on glasses in the dishwasher, white film on the walls of the shower, and mineral buildup on faucets. Lomita receives water from the Colorado River, Northern California and local groundwater. Northern California water is “softer” but, due to the ongoing drought, the amount of Northern California water that Lomita receives has been minimal to none. Colorado River water and local groundwater tend to be similar in hardness.

If you are concerned with hard water and spotting, it is best to read the owner’s manual for your appliances and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding settings for hard water. Some other tips that may help reduce spotting include using more cold water instead of hot, varying the brand and type of rinse agent and detergent and adding white vinegar to the rinse cycle of the dishwasher.

We realize that some customers do not care for the “hard” (high mineral content) water many areas of Southern California receive. If you opt for a water softener for your home, there are a few things to be aware of.

Self-regenerating water softeners, the kind that requires rock salt, potassium or other material to be added periodically by the homeowner, are discouraged. The reason is simple. Los Angeles County recycles its wastewater and the salty water discharged by self-regenerating water softeners is not always removed during the reclamation process at the treatment plant. The more self-regenerating water softeners used in Lomita, the saltier recycled water in our County becomes. Recycled water is used to irrigate some parks, school yards and golf courses, among other things, and the grass and plants cannot always tolerate the high salt content.

There is an environmentally friendly option. If you desire soft water in your home, we encourage you to subscribe to a water softener service that picks up and exchanges the cylinder so the salt does not go down the drain. You’ll find several water softening services listed in the Yellow Pages or on the internet. (The City does not make recommendations on which softening services to use) Additionally, hooking up a water softener only to the hot water lines may save you money.

Fluoride has been added to United States drinking water supplies since 1945. Of the 50 largest cities in the country, 43 add fluoride to their drinking water. In late 1995, the State of California passed a law (AB 733) requiring the California Department of Public Health to adopt regulations that require the fluoridation of the water of any public water system with at least 10,000 service connections when and if the state provided funding. While this funding was never made available, Metropolitan Water District (MWD) started adding fluoride to drinking water in order to prevent tooth decay. In line with recommendations from the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, MWD adjusted the natural fluoride level in imported treated water from the Colorado River and State Project water to the optimal range for dental health of 0.7 to 1.3 parts per million.

While there may be some naturally occurring fluoride in our groundwater, Lomita does not add fluoride to its drinking water supplies. The fluoride content in water imported from the Colorado River and Northern California averages 0.8 parts per million, and the amount received at your home will vary depending on the mix of groundwater that you receive. Questions about MWD’s fluoridation policy may be directed to MWD directly at http://www.mwdh2o.com/.

Regular filters and boiling will not remove fluoride, but fluoride can be removed using a reverse osmosis system.

Odors in water can be caused by many sources.  It is necessary to narrow down the source of the odor in order to correctly diagnose its cause.  For example, does the odor seem to come from all taps in your home, or just one? Do you notice it outside the home (e.g. at the hose bib)?  If it’s coming from just one tap, the problem is likely originating from the sink drain and not the tap itself. This odor is commonly caused by material such as hair or food particles in the drain area. To get rid of the odor, try pouring about a half cup of liquid bleach into the drain. To prevent odors from returning, routinely flush drains with a small amount of bleach once a month or so.

Is the problem tap one that is seldom used (such as a guest bathroom)?  Or, if the whole house is involved, did you recently return from vacation? Often when a sink or shower is not used for a period of time, the material in the drain remains odorless until water is first turned on. When water hits the built-up material, odor can be generated. Use the same bleach flushing suggestion as above.

If the smell seems to come from all sinks, take a glass of water from a sink into another room without water, such as your living room.  Is the odor still present? If not, the problem is with the drains. Use the same suggestion outlined above for all affected drains.

Still having the issue?  Is the odor coming from both hot and cold water? If it’s coming from just the hot water, your water heater or water system may need flushing.  This (along with older household piping, including galvanized piping) is the most common cause of this type of odor in household water systems.  Annual flushing of the hot water heater should keep the problem from returning.

Hot water heater odors can also result from having the temperature set too low. To prevent bacterial growth, hot water heaters should not be set below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Care should be taken in homes with young children, elderly or disabled residents to prevent accidental scalding.

Some odor is naturally present in groundwater due to naturally occurring organic material in the West Coast Basin.  We regularly monitor odor as a secondary (non-health related) standard, but some residents may be able to detect a certain level of “earthy” odor at various points throughout the system.  If you continue to experience odor problems with your water, please contact us at (310) 325-7110 or lomitawater@lomitacity.com to report the occurrence and Lomita Water Division staff will investigate each situation.

Imported water received from the Metropolitan Water District is treated with chloramines, and the City’s groundwater is also treated with chloramines, which is safe for use and drinking but could be toxic to fish. Water that contains chloramines may be treated a number of ways, including commercial products found in pet supply stores. Customers should follow the instructions on these products’ packages. If you have any questions, consult the manufacturer, because these products contain varying amounts and types of reactive agent.

Water rates are set by the City Council every few years, based on a water rate study. The study analyzes the costs of imported water, treated groundwater, operations and maintenance of the water system, water main replacements, and other system costs. The study also looks at future imported water cost increases. These data are used to determine reasonable water rates to make sure operation and maintenance costs are covered while keeping rates as low as possible.

Water-saving devices such as low-flow toilets and showerheads use less water with no loss in convenience or benefit. For example, a family of four can save over 35,000 gallons of water per year by installing low-water-use showerheads. Since they will be using less water, additional savings in energy costs can occur.

On a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis, our staff samples water from water sampling stations located throughout the City. These samples are sent to an independent laboratory for analysis, thereby ensuring that Lomita is providing the best quality water available. In addition, Lomita Water personnel flush our water systems through selected fire hydrants on a regular basis. This periodic flushing helps eliminate the possibility of stagnant water conditions. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the quality of your water, contact the City at lomitawater@lomitacity.com or by calling (310) 325-7110.

Yes; however, you will have to make arrangements with a private laboratory. Costs can vary significantly depending upon the contaminant being tested for. If you have any questions or concerns, Lomita Water can provide you with information on your water quality and can test the water coming into your home. Local and state health departments can also provide water quality and testing information.

The primary agency responsible for oversight of water quality in Lomita is the Drinking Water Division of the State Water Resources Control Board, which is a part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Federal oversight is also provided by the Federal EPA.

The City performs all testing necessary to make sure our water quality meets State and Federal standards. The State’s Division of Drinking Water has a list of all chemicals, contaminants, minerals that are tested for at the following link: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/Chemicalcontaminants.shtm

The annual Consumer Confidence Report, which summarizes the previous year’s water quality results, is available on this website at the following page: here

For more specific information about water quality testing, please contact the Engineering Division at (310) 325-7110 x170.

Water pressure can fluctuate due to higher-than-normal demand placed on the water system. This usually occurs during the summer months, when water usage is at its highest level, and in some instances during morning and evening hours when residents are more likely to take showers, wash clothes, wash dishes, etc. If you are experiencing a change in water pressure that seems out of the ordinary, please contact our staff at (310) 325-7110.

The City disinfects your water to ensure that it is free of bacteria. To reduce any chlorine taste or smell, try refrigerating your water before drinking. Chlorine will dissipate with time and the water will taste fresher. Reverse osmosis and activated carbon filters are also effective in removing chlorine from water, but choose a reputable vendor and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing and maintaining such treatment devices.

The City is investing in significant updates to the water production and distribution systems. The roadmap for these upgrades has been outlined in the City’s Water Master Plan, a dynamic document that prioritizes recommended improvements to the water system. The most recent Master Plan update was done in 2015, and is available here.

We conduct periodic flushing as part of our ongoing water quality and water system maintenance program. By opening certain fire hydrants under controlled conditions, we remove minerals and sediment that build up in water lines over time. This improves water quality and increases the amount of water that can flow through the water lines.

Although it may seem wasteful to the casual observer, flushing is actually an important and necessary water utility activity that is endorsed by the American Water Works Association and conducted in accordance with guidelines set by the California Division of Drinking Water.

You will continue to receive water while we are flushing, but you might notice a temporary drop in water pressure. If you notice any discoloration and/or sediment in your water after we have flushed, please allow water to run until it clears.