Carson water not affected by Dominguez Channel odor

Customers residing in Carson may have noticed a strong odor in and around their homes. The LA County Public Works Department and the South Coast Air Quality Management District have determined that the odor is likely caused by hydrogen sulfide being released by drying organic matter in the Dominguez Channel, which is not connected to the tap water distribution system. The channel is part of the Los Angeles County flood control or storm water system; it is not related to Cal Water or our customers’ water supply.

As part of our water quality assurance program, we continually treat the water and test it consistently before it reaches your tap to ensure that it meets all federal and state water quality standards set to both protect public health and limit aesthetic issues. This includes tests for odor in water. Our most recent test results, taken after the Dominguez Channel odor issue began, confirmed no elevated levels of odor in the water.

Additionally, some customers may have seen news footage of discolored water coming out of a bathtub. If the water from the faucet itself is clear but water coming up from the toilet/bathtub drain is not, it’s indicative of a potential sewer backup instead—not an issue with the tap water.

If you ever experience discolored water coming from your tap/faucet, please contact our local Cal Water office at (310) 257-1400 so that we may investigate it. Any discolored water would be unrelated to the Carson odor issue.

Please rest assured that protecting our customers’ health and safety is our top priority, and that your water continues to meet or surpass all state and federal water quality standards. If you ever have any other questions about your tap water, please contact us.

For more information from the City of Carson, including claims, complaints, or relocation, visit the City’s web site at