LADWP Meeting Stringent Drinking Water Quality Standards

Annual Water Quality Report Being Mailed to LADWP Customers Heightens Awareness of Drinking Water Safety and Need for Conservation

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is ensuring that the people of Los Angeles receive safe drinking water in line with state and federal water quality standards, according to a report now being mailed to customers.

The LADWP's 11th annual Water Quality Report assesses water safety for each of the four geographic regions served by LADWP, and chronicles the agency's progress in improving and expanding water treatment and testing programs to meet increasing stringent water quality guidelines set by the California Department of Health Services and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The annual report is being mailed directly to all LADWP customers--about 1.4 million in all--with distribution scheduled to be complete by Nov. 16.

"The LADWP consistently provides high-quality, low-cost water to a city of 3.8 million people -- and we're taking additional steps to keep it that way, especially at a time of heightened public concern in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks," said Gerald Gewe, LADWP's assistant general manager for water services.

"This report provides our customers with factual information about how we are using new technologies to continue to provide water that meets, or is superior to, enforceable public health standards," Gewe said.

As it does each year, LADWP routinely monitors its water supply for more than 170 contaminants, of which 110 have enforceable standards. In 2000, only 45 of the 170 contaminants were detected in the city's water supply. All were at levels far below enforceable drinking water standards, including safety levels for arsenic, chromium, lead, copper and more.

"The LADWP has made a significant capital investment in our water system, and we're very pleased to see this investment reflected in the high quality of our water," said Kenneth T. Lombard, president of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, which oversees LADWP.

A number of capital improvement projects are helping to improve reliability and safeguard water. Over the next 10 years, LADWP will invest more than $2 billion on these improvements, with $500,000 dedicated to improving water quality.

Replacement of main pipes, meters and service lines will be included in these infrastructure upgrades. Aging facilities such as pumping and chlorination stations will be upgraded or replaced.

As part of LADWP's effort to increase public awareness about water safety and conservation, the 1999 report included a mail back form seeking questions from customers. The 2000 report was developed with information gathered from this informal customer survey.

"We are always looking for ways to establish conversations with our customers about our water services, and this report includes many of the most frequently asked customer questions and responses from our water experts," Gewe said. "The public is interested in more information about drinking water quality, and we're pleased to distribute this report throughout the city so our customers--the people of Los Angeles--have access to the best and most current information about the water they drink."


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