The city has decided to spend at least $210,000 to cover one of its reservoirs with an aluminum roof. Residents have complained about the taste of the chlorine that has been added to the water supply as a precaution since the plastic bubble that covers the reservoir was torn.
The City Council voted unanimously Monday to forgo the normal bidding process and award the contract to the firm submitting the lowest price to city staff. Only two firms, one in Torrance and one in Texas, make the aluminum domes, said city Utilities Director Joseph Hsu.
Although he supported the measure, Councilman Lucio Cruz said the city should follow normal bidding procedures because of the amount of money involved. But Mayor Eugene Moses, citing the danger of contamination from having an open reservoir, argued against waiting.
According to divers who inspected it in February, the 1.5-million-gallon reservoir will last at least another 25 years, much longer than originally thought. The reservoir is the city's smallest, holding about 10% of the total water supply. But it acts as a "ballast," or central pond, for all the water channeled through the system, Hsu said.