“Dark Waters” Movie Generates Interest in Drinking Water Quality Testing and C8

The recent film, “Dark Waters,” has generated public interest regarding a particular perfluorinated compound (PFC) called C8 in drinking water sources. While the movie is based on events that occurred in West Virginia, it understandably may raise questions among our customers. As a water utility committed to the protection of public health, LADWP welcomes the opportunity to share information with our customers about LADWP’s commitment to providing Los Angeles with high quality, safe, and reliable drinking water and our testing results for these chemical compounds.

C8 (also known as Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA) is just one of many compounds that fall under the category of PFCs that have been linked to consumer products like cookware, pizza boxes, fire-fighting foam, and stain-resistant, water-proof, or non-stick materials. Human exposure to these compounds is primarily through consumer products, food, indoor and outdoor air, and dust. Potential health impacts related to PFCs are still being studied and more research is needed. Given the potential impact that PFC’s and other contaminants may have on drinking water supplies nationally, LADWP fully supports scientific studies to determine the human toxicological and environmental impacts.

LADWP began testing for PFC’s in its water system and wells beginning in 2013. After performing hundreds of samples and tests, there is not a contamination issue with PFC’s in LADWP’s drinking water supplies. The vast majority of samples have been clear (non-detect) of PFC’s, and the few samples with a detection have been well under the notification limits proposed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for PFOA and PFAS. Based on this data, LADWP customers should be confident that their tap water is not in any way affected by PFOA like that experienced by West Virginia as depicted in the Dark Waters movie.

LADWP will continue to work closely with USEPA, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to ensure that there is no contamination of LADWP’s drinking water sources and its water distribution system. We will also continue to be vigilant in our sampling and testing.

In addition to these tests, in 2018, LADWP tested for over 200 constituents in our water supply by performing more than 120,000 tests on samples taken throughout the City. We are pleased to report that the water we provide to our customers met or surpassed every federal and state drinking water standard.

Our mission is to provide the highest quality water to our 4 million valued customers and we have the best staff of any utility constantly monitoring our water operations and water quality to ensure that every drop we deliver is safe for our customers to drink.

You can learn more about LA’s drinking water by reading our Annual Drinking Water Quality Report and if you have any questions or concerns about the tap water in your home or business, please give us a call at (213) 367-3182 or email us at waterquality@ladwp.com.


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