200 Residents Advised to Not Drink Tap Water in Palos Verdes


Residents in Palos Verdes Estates were told not to drink the water Monday after a small storage tank was “compromised” when someone broke into the site.

The California Water Service sent notices door-to-door, advising an estimated 200 customers in Palos Verdes to use bottled water for cooking and drinking until further testing could be done. Residents were also being notified via email and phone numbers on file.

Crew doing maintenance work on the 50,000-gallon storage tank discovered the locks had been cut sometime before Monday afternoon. Cal Water’s Mike Jones said the tank is on a hillside that is not easily accessible.

“It’s scary,” said resident Linda Kahn-Ferrell. “We’re going to have to use a lot of bottled water for bathing, for brushing teeth.”

The first water tests came back normal, but until the agency could conduct extensive water tests over the course of the next few weeks, residents were advised to not drink the water.

“Although we are not being required to do so, out of an abundance of caution, we are advising our customers to not use the water for drinking and cooking until we have completed our flushing and operational adjustments to get fresh water to the area,” said Dan Armendariz, District Manager, in a statement. “The details are still evolving, but we will keep our customers updated as quickly as possible as we move forward.”

Cal Water was flushing the water out of hydrants to bring fresh water into the system.

Tests on Tuesday revealed no contamination.

Cal Water believes it was an act of vandalism, and nothing more. After the breach Monday, Cal Water also said security around the tank would likely be increased to avoid the situation again in the future.

Residents seeking more information could call Cal Water’s Customer Center at (310) 257-1400.

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