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A Student Asked Why Her School's Water Is 'Gross.' We Got Answers.


A while back, a KPCC reporter got this letter from a fourth grader at an L.A. Unified school.

"My school doesn't have any clean water," fourth-grader Kajsa Darr of Clifford Elementary School in Echo Park wrote. "That makes me very concerned. That water tastes horrible."

Potentially unclean drinking water at a school piqued our interest -- so we looked into it. And yes, the water at Clifford is just a little yellow, and a little cloudy, too.  But the good news is tests conducted by LAUSD and the L.A. Department of Water and Power found that the water is safe. 

To be more specific, DWP concluded the yellowish tinge was from iron rust in the water — and it's harmless. Probably a byproduct of nearby construction. But after maybe 10 or 15 seconds, they found the water from the school's drinking fountain runs clear. So the solution the district suggested?  Just run the water for a few seconds before drinking.

Read more about Kajsa's letter and the response at