Northeast L.A. drinking water showed signs of fecal contamination

Blue area affected by water contamination notice

Fecal bacteria were present in samples of drinking water taken last month in Northeast L.A. but later testing showed no further signs of contamination, according to the L.A. Department of Water and Power.

The fecal bacteria posed no danger to public health because there were adequate amounts of chlorine in the water and no traces of E. coli, a potentially dangerous form of bacteria associated with human and animal waste, officials said. There is no need for residents to boil water, according to the agency.

An estimated 10,500 LADWP customers across a swath of Eagle Rock, Garvanza, Hermon and Highland Park were notified of the contamination in a letter dated July 18. The tests that showed positive signs of water with total or fecal coliforms – a type of bacteria – were taken on June 23 and June 24. Follow up tests on and after June 25 no longer showed signs of contamination.  “Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator, or warning, that other potentially harmful bacteria may be present,” the agency said in its letter.

The agency is conducting the investigation to determine how the fecal bacteria made it into the water supply but all recent tests have not found any presence of total or fecal coliforms;  all LADWP  facilities were found to have been and continue to operate normally.

“Protecting water quality is our highest priority at the LADWP,” said Jim McDaniel, senior assistant general manager of the agency’s  water system, in a statement.  “While we do not know precisely why this water quality issue occurred, we do know that it did not pose a threat to public health and did not rise to the level that would have required immediate public notification and a boil water order.  Nevertheless, we apologize to the customers who live in the area that was affected and we want to assure them that their water is safe to drink.” 

A Garvanza resident who forwarded his copy of the LADWP notice to The Eastsider said he called the agency’s customer service line to get more information but spent 45 minutes on hold without getting more info.

“I’d like to know why this happened, what’s being done to prevent this from happening moving forward and greater insight into chlorine disinfection as a solution to this problem,” said the DWP customer. “Waiting on the customer service line 45 minutes to no response won’t suffice.”

Related Links:

Eastsider Ads


  1. Hmm… I live in NELA, but I only drink Kirkland. I’ll have to do some research and see if there’s any crap in their water supply.

  2. “Oh yeah they fixed that, in fact a lot of scientists said the measuring equipment was contaminated so nobody even took that seriously. You know how the press is…” — every east side realtor for the next two weeks…

  3. It would be nice if we could actually make out what is what on the map.

    • It’s just a bunch of fecal matter.

    • That blue squiggle is the LA river. Now we know what the “real East Side” is known for…

      • Nice try but you should really learn how to read.

        This is all taking place in NORTHEAST L.A. Which is north of downtown Los Angeles, and NOT the actual eastside. The real eastside is east of downtown and east of the L.A. River.

        • NorthEAST LA maybe north of downtown, but it’s not east of downtown, so that kinda blows the whole ‘real eastside is ‘east of downtown’ theory.

          Northeast LA is the eastside of Los Angeles—the whole city, which the furthest west parts would be Woodland Hills, Pacific Palisades, etc.
          Downtown LA is not central to the City of Los Angeles.

          East of downtown is still eastside in a literal sense, but since my youth from the 70’s it was always referred to as ‘East LA’.

          Silverlake, EP, LF, Eagle Rock, etc have always been referred to as the ‘Eastside’ and they are all on the eastside of Los Angeles…..though have never been called ‘East LA’, which is reserved for east of downtown.

          • NELA is east of the L.A. River and north of downtown. Hence the name NorthEast L.A.

            While East L.A. and EastSide may be synonymous, one thing for sure is that Echo Park, SL, LF and Eagle Rock have never been the Eastside. Look at history, look at addresses, and if you need to, look at the taggers/gangs that put W.S. in front of their names to show their differentiation from the Eastside hoods.

          • Weeeelll, You got me there “eastside”. Was overlooking the TAGS of idiot gangs to know where I am!

            What a tired argument.

          • I agree with fleaman.. i’m in los feliz and me and all my friends refer it to the eastside. as opposed to say the westside which is santa monica.. we are eastside la proper. anyways, i hope this is about to blow the casket off of what is really going on… this has been happening for a while now. I used to live in los feliz has horrible acne.. moved away it cleared up, came back and now it’s back. i’m having horrible anxiety about the water quality we all have to deal with over here.. and truly wish something gets done. although i feel it may be a lost cause…

  4. Don’t bother calling LADWP they wont tell you anything specific.

    If you look back on July 17th of the Eastsider you’ll see there was a main break on York Blvd.

    Most likely contamination came through this break or by diverting water to other pipes to continue to feed water into the system.

    The system around NELA is very old and fragile.

    • I think I’m missing something. How did a water main break on July 17th cause contamination on June 23rd? The date on the map refers to the date it was created, not the date of the contamination.

  5. It took LADWP 26 days to report this to their affected customers? Investigation required!

  6. Note to self, stop shitting where I drink.

  7. Gee, now that they have started to use recycled water — you know, the stuff you flush down the toilet, and that liquid in there is no only water — to water such things as parks and golf courses and other places, we find fecal matter in our water supply. You know, the water supply much of which is drawn from underground, where the recycled toilet water goes after it soaks through the lawn and down to the water table.

    That recycled water is intensely concentrated. If you use it, you better expect to find more fecal matter in water. Or is it really water? That recycled water might go through a filter, but filters would only filter out solids, not the liquids in the toilet water that are not water — and you know what that is.

    The only reason we are now trying to use more and more recycled water from the toilet and put it in our drinking water is to justify more and more drastic overdevelopment in the neighborhoods by claiming we have plenty enough water for ever more development. Stop the ever more overdevelopment, and you can stop using recycled water.

  8. My family and I drink a lot of water throughout the day and thank goodness we never tasted any difference during that time frame otherwise I would be FREAKING OUT. Of course our home doesn’t fall into the blue zone on the map which I suppose explains that. I sure feel for anyone who was tasting feces in their water. Are we to assume it was human feces in the water?

    • You’re not going to taste if there is fecal coliform. Fecal coliform is an indicator that more trouble is on the way if you don’t chlorinate now. Most likely it was a dead animal of some sort.
      A lot of DWP guys love in this area so try to befriend them to find out more.

  9. This is fuckin gross. I live in sorry ass cypress park home of the rapist and molesters like sick fucks isn’t enough now we have shit water. Sue dwp. For crap water

  10. I cannot read one single word on this map they provided. So maybe I’m drinking crap and maybe I’m not. I’d call but I doubt I’d get an honest answer. I’m sure today they just unplugged the phones and walked out of the office. But seriously, I defy anyone to read this map.

  11. Today, 7/30 my part of Eagle Rock had water pipes groaning and moaning, blowing air and mist from faucets and toliets. The water was off for about an hour at my house. DWP said there was an “emergency” but did not have more info. I thought it might be related to the UCLA pipe failure or we have a huge hole on Colorado Blvd. near Townsend for the past week that they have been working on…

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *