Response to Daily Bulletin Article on La Verne Water System

Claremont City Manager's Report, August 11, 2016

In the August 8, 2016 edition, the Daily Bulletin wrote about comments made by the Golden State Water Attorney during the eminent domain water system trial regarding the City of La Verne’s water quality and two incidences where elevated levels of contaminates were found in the system over five years ago. The City of La Verne issued the following response:

“The City of La Verne has been working with its neighboring community (City of Claremont) as they seek to take local control of the local water system serving their community. Toward that end, the City of La Verne has agreed to operate that system should Claremont prevail in that effort. Since the outset this effort has been contested by the current owner of the system, Golden State Water Company. As part of the strategy to protect their system, Golden State and its attorneys have taken aim at the City of La Verne and how we operate our water system. To that end, an article was published in the August 11 edition of the Daily Bulletin referencing some of the closing arguments made by Golden State on La Verne’s water practices and operations. Following is the City’s response to that:

The City of La Verne takes its responsibility of providing safe, clean and reliable water service to our customers very seriously. We stand behind all of our water quality sampling practices. The City has and continues to follow the guidelines and standards set forth in the California Drinking Water Regulations and enforced by the State Water Board Division of Drinking Water (DDW).

In 2012, during our standard testing process, higher than normal levels of lead were found in a few residential locations (AND NOT SYSTEM WIDE). At that time our staff worked with DDW representatives to issue the necessary notifications and performed re‐testing. Minor adjustments to the water system were made to address the issue and the City is now on a once every three year testing cycle which is only granted to systems that consistently meet standards.

In 2011, routine testing detected e‐coli bacteria in an area serving less than 200 customers. Notifications were made immediately and all DDW protocols were followed. The issue was quickly resolved and there has been no reoccurrence.

The statements made by Golden State’s attorneys and representatives during trial are erroneous, sensationalized, and nothing short of fear mongering.

It is unfortunate that Golden State has made such a negative attack against the City of La Verne. In the past we have enjoyed a very good working relationship as they provide water service to almost 800 of our residents. Unfortunately, this “Win at any costs approach” has put a strain on that relationship. We can only hope that it will not have lasting effects as we move forward.

The City and our staff remain committed to supporting the City of Claremont in serving their residents should they become the owner of their system.

Please rest assured that our primary focus has always been and remains the health and safety of our water customers. We continue to go above and beyond what is required by the State Water Board Division of Drinking Water to ensure that the La Verne water system is dependable and reliable and delivers the highest quality water at an affordable price, and if given the opportunity, we will have the same mission for the residents of the City of Claremont.

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