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Neighbors complain of tap water running black

By Ben Hooper

GARDENA, Calif., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Residents of a Southern California neighborhood said they are avoiding their tap water because it occasionally turns into a black liquid.

Gardena resident Diane Morita, who posted video of her tap water running black on YouTube, and some of her neighbors said their water has periodically been turning black and giving off a foul, sulfer-like odor for some time.

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"Black water comes out of my shower, faucets, bathtub," Morita told CBS Los Angeles. "When the black water comes out, it has tiny little rocks and sediment that plug up all of the jets."

Neighbors said they have been experiencing similar problems.

"It was getting to the point where we had to install a filter. Otherwise, we were going to bed with rashes and itchy every night," Scott Arroyo told KTLA-TV. "It's just becoming a pain."

Arroyo said he has been spending about $30 each month to change out the filter he installed to keep his water from turning "nasty."

The Golden State Water Company, which provides water to the neighborhood, said discoloration can be a result of sediment in the water pipes.

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"This slight discoloration is not uncommon in water distribution systems, and we are flushing the local water system to address the issue," the statement read. "Flushing activities are expected to continue for the next several weeks."

Kate Nutting, general manager of Garden State Water, said the company is investigating the exact cause of the problem.

"While, yes, the water is clear right now we will continue to investigate to determine what caused it last Wednesday, what has caused it in the past so that we can prevent it from happening again," she told NBC Los Angeles.

Nutting said tests determined there was no danger to the public from the water.

"The water meets all drinking water standards, so it should be considered safe to drink. I understand the concern, though. I was concerned when I saw the discolored water," she said.

However, neighbor Emy Sebastian said drinking the water caused members of her family to fall ill.

"Throwing up, going to the bathroom. After two days, my oldest daughter is sick, too. After one week, I get sick, too," Sebastian told KXAN-TV.

Neighbors said the water has been clear since the pipes were flushed this week, but they are concerned the problem could come back as it has in the past.

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"My biggest concern now is the safety of my family, you know. Is this toxic? Is this creating problems with us?" Morita told KABC-TV

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