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Water spouts

August 12, 2007

Re "Take it straight from the tap," Opinion, Aug. 7

While recent Times articles laud L.A.'s tap water and decry bottled water as a PR-induced waste of money, some residents continue to denounce tap water as impure, malodorous or bad tasting. Because L.A.'s water surpasses the most stringent standards, how does one explain this antipathy?

The answer is often found in a building's plumbing. The L.A. Department of Water and Power has taken great pride in delivering the highest quality water to Angelenos for more than 100 years. The water is treated to exacting standards, tested more than 300,000 times a year and delivered inexpensively and reliably, as if by clockwork. But that water is brought only to connections outside of structures. The water must then travel the interior plumbing to get to the faucet. If interior pipes are corroded or rusted, the water can look, smell and taste repulsive.

Residents should first investigate their plumbing systems before spending untold amounts on bottled water. Correcting crumbling pipes or even installing a simple carbon filter at the tap will get you the best water money can buy.

David Nahai

President

Board of Commissioners

L.A. Department of

Water and Power

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L.A. restaurants should emulate what some New York City restaurants will be doing on World Water Day: suggesting that customers pay for the usually free water, with the proceeds going to water projects through UNICEF's Tap Project. Dirty water kills thousands of children and adults in developing countries. The program could become a regular feature. What an easy way to make a real difference.

Saran Kirschbaum

Los Angeles

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