January 19, 2023
Los Angeles County Public Works
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LA County transfers management of Sativa Water District to new owner
WILLOWBROOK, Calif.—The management of Sativa Water System of Los Angeles has been transferred to Covina-based Suburban Water Systems. Suburban Water Systems is a privately owned utility regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.
The former Sativa Los Angeles County Water District was dissolved in 2018 over allegations of mismanagement and serving discolored water to customers. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors tasked Los Angeles County Public Works with the temporary management and rehabilitation of the water system until a permanent service provider was identified.
Stabilizing and managing Sativa’s neglected 100-year-old water system required significant investment, repairs and infrastructure improvements. The work included renovating Sativa’s wells and replacing most of the electronics that control them, building new watermains to improve system circulation and resilience, and multiple rounds of watermain flushing to aggressively scour the accumulated sediment and manganese that gave the water a brown appearance. Under the management of LA County Public Works, the water system began serving customers a safe, clean and reliable water supply—without raising water bill rates.
Suburban has committed to continuing the County’s work to rebuild Sativa’s infrastructure while not raising water bill rates in the immediate future. Additionally, Suburban has assured the County and its Sativa customers that future rate adjustments will be equitable, affordable and developed openly with customer input.
The County of Los Angeles remains committed to Sativa customers. To provide for a smooth transition of management, Suburban has operated the water system, under close County oversight, since June 2021. This transition allowed Suburban to become familiar with the water system and understand the priorities and needs of the community.