Agency that delivered brown, smelly water to customers should be dissolved, board rules

Residents of working-class neighborhoods in Compton and Willowbrook have long fought an uphill battle against their local water district, which over the years has been accused of mismanagement, nepotism, bad service and, most recently, sending brown, smelly water through their taps.

Still, Sativa Los Angeles County Water District managed to stay in business.

But on Wednesday, residents won a decisive victory when county authorities voted unanimously to dissolve the troubled agency. The action by L.A. County’s Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO, kicks off a lengthy and rare process to get rid of a water district.

It is the third time that LAFCO has tried to take over or merge Sativa with a larger water provider. Past efforts fell short when the district fought back and other suitable water providers failed to emerge. But this time the oversight officials said they are committed to providing Sativa customers with clean drinking water — something they no longer believe the district can offer.

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