FAQs Archive

How do I know whether my home/address was affected by the April/May 2019 benzene intrusion?

The Cypress Water Production Facility provides blended water to Zone 1 (generally the area of town to the North of PCH). Elevated levels of benzene in the City’s pre-blended raw water was initially detected on April 30th and, once confirmed, the City immediately transitioned to 100% imported water. This pressure zone typically receives a blend of water purchased from Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and treated water from Well No. 5 in the Cypress Water Production Facility (CWPF). Per the sampling throughout the City’s distribution system, benzene was detected from ‘Not Detected’ (ND) to 1.4 parts per billion (ppb) in the distribution system. As of May 15, Zone 1 is receiving water entirely from MWD.

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What is benzene?

Benzene is a chemical that is a colorless or light yellow liquid at room temperature. It has a sweet odor and is highly flammable. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that benzene causes cancer in humans. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause leukemia–cancer of the blood-forming organs. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “long-term exposure” is continued exposure of a year or more. The seriousness of poisoning caused by benzene depends on the amount, route, and length of time of exposure, as well as the age and pre-existing medical condition of the exposed person.

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Why does the City sometimes flush water from pipes?

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.

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How does the City plan for the future of water in our community?

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.

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Why does my water sometimes smell like chlorine?

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.

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Why might the water pressure at my house sometimes seem lower or higher than normal?

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.

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What kind of testing do you perform on the water and where can those results be found?

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.

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Can I test my own water at home?

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.

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What should I do if I have a concern about the quality of my water?

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.

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