lead and has higher levels of trihalomethanes and coliform bacteria than
averages of 202 brands of bottled water tested by the county, Antonovich
His comments prompted a response from Glendale officials that the
drinking water supply meets state and federal standards and is safe. More
than 90% of Glendale's drinking water comes from the Metropolitan Water
District of Southern California, which supplies most of the water in the
"I don't know why he said what he said," said Glendale Councilwoman
Ginger Bremberg. "I am truly astonished. Maybe it is bandwagon time.
Everybody is climbing on a new issue to toot their horns."
Antonovich said Thursday his lone motivation was to let the public
know what is in the water they are drinking. A bottled water user, he
said he used information mailed to his home by Glendale Water & Power in
July for a comparison. He had Wasfy Shindy, deputy director of the county
EnvironmentalToxicology Bureau do the comparison.
"Some people think it is unsafe to have that type of material in one's
drinking water," Antonovich said. "That is why when babies are born, they
have them drink distilled water. It shows MWD has a problem, and it's
water is not as pure."
Los Angeles County has no regulatory control over municipal water
systems like Glendale's. David Spath, chief of drinking water and
environmental management for the state Department of Health Services,
which does, said it is unfair to call the tap water unsafe.
"It is not fair to people providing the water and residents," Spath
said. "To say it is not safe is not the case at all. It is doing an
State and federal regulations allow a small amount of contaminants in
the water as long as it doesn't exceed a certain thresholds.
Antonovich questioned trihalomethanes, a carcinogen and byproduct of
mixing chlorine with organic material, being 45 parts per billion in
comparison to .68 parts per billion in bottled water. The standard is 100
parts per billion.
The supervisor also questioned Glendale's coliform bacteria test of
.66%. The state allows 5% a month.
Don Froelich, the city's water administrator, said the .66% represents
one positive test out of 1,800 done a year and a follow-up test showed no
Froelich questioned why Glendale was singled out when more than 100
cities in the county use the same water supply from the Colorado River
and Northern California.
"Probably every water in the world has a little bit of this and a
little bit of that. Unless it is distilled, it will have minerals in it,"
Antonovich said he may request similar comparisons with other
municipal water systems. Supervisors have already called for testing for
chromium 6, a known carcinogen, at county buildings in light of publicity
of a two-year-old recommendation on changing the state standard for the
Glendale is also testing for chromium 6 in its supply, but officials
expect it to be undetectable in tap water.