LOS ANGELES, Dec. 15, 2003 -- Kicking off a campaign to remind Los Angeles' diverse communities that the city's water is safe and healthful to drink, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has released a Spanish-language version of its Annual Water Quality Report, which found that LADWP is serving its customers the highest quality water in the Department's 100-year history.
Joining LADWP officials for the announcement were Los Angeles City Councilmember Tony Cardenas and Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, who made a public appeal to the region's Hispanic population to ensure they are consuming the appropriate amount of water each day, and emphasizing that they can rely upon their tap water as a safe, affordable option.
"It's important for all Los Angeles residents to know that every time they turn on the tap, they are getting high quality water that's been rigorously tested, treated and safeguarded before it enters their home," said Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn. "Not only does Los Angeles' drinking water meet or surpass all federal and state drinking water standards, but it arrives at millions of homes and businesses everyday at an affordable price, backed by dependable LADWP service."
"Year after year, LADWP has made substantial efforts in improving the quality of water provided to Los Angeles residents and businesses," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Tony Cardenas, District 6. "The latest Annual Water Quality Report should serve as an assurance to all residents that the water they are drinking from their tap has never been cleaner."
Despite the high quality of LADWP water, studies have shown that Hispanics, especially those who are new to the United States, are more likely to distrust municipal water sources, and more likely to spend a disproportionate amount of their income on bottled or vending machine water, or not consume the appropriate amount of water at all.
"Many Hispanic households have unfounded fears about quality based on past experiences in other countries, and urban legends," said Jarrin. "Gallon for gallon and glass for glass, water available from LADWP provides customers a high quality, cost effective option."
The Water Quality Report demonstrates that LADWP's supplies can be trusted. The report is based on extensive scientific research of water served throughout the sprawling City of Los Angeles. In the past year, LADWP monitored its water supply for more than 170 contaminants, of which 110 have enforceable standards. LADWP conducted more than 198,000 tests on 24,000 samples throughout the year on contaminants that include arsenic, chromium, lead, copper and more. The level of contaminants detected in the City's water supply remains at levels far below enforceable drinking water standards.
"With increasingly stringent quality standards and new security issues, the challenge of ensuring safe and high quality water to our customers has never been more difficult, or more important," said LADWP General Manager David Wiggs. "It's a testament to our employees and ongoing efforts to maintain and upgrade our infrastructure that quality is better today than it has ever been."
The report assesses water quality for each of LADWP's four geographic regions - Central and Eastern L.A., the San Fernando Valley, Western Los Angeles and the Harbor Area. The report chronicles the utility's progress in improving and expanding water treatment and testing programs backed by billions of dollars in capital improvements since the establishment of the first Los Angeles municipal water works system in 1912.
Jarrin appealed to Hispanics to ensure they are consuming the appropriate amount of water each day. Doctors recommend drinking 64 ounces of water on average, each day. A recent study found that consuming the appropriate amount of water can reduce the risk of colds and even the flu.
"Tap water from LADWP is clean, safe, and perfectly fine for any common household or businesses use," said Cardenas. "Water quality in Los Angeles has now reached a point where it is not necessary to purchase water from other sources, nor should residents limit their water consumption out of concern for safety."
Approximately four gallons of LADWP water costs the consumer merely one penny.
Through an aggressive program to ensure the continued safety and quality of LADWP water, the Department is increasing the number of tests it performs to 225,000 annually.
LADWP's 13th Annual Water Quality Report is available in Spanish online at www.ladwp.com, or copies can be requested by calling the Water Quality Office at 213-367-3182.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power serves more than 3.8 million people in Los Angeles and was established over 100 years ago to provide water and electric needs to the city's businesses and residents. For more information, call 1-800-DIAL-DWP, or log on to www.ladwp.com.