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New report washes away uncertainty about LA's tap water

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Maywood resident Robert Taylor fills a bottle with tap water in his home on Sept. 26.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Maywood resident Robert Taylor fills a bottle with tap water in his home on Sept. 26.

LA's tap water has a bad reputation, but that's a thing of the past. According to LADWP's latest Drinking Water Quality report, LA's tap water is now as good as bottled.

Now here's something everyone who has ever eaten in a restaurant has heard.

"Good evening, may I bring you some water? Bottled or tap?"

For as long as most of us can remember, there's been suspicion about Los Angeles' tap water. Transplanted New Yorkers LOVE to diss it. And lots of native Angelenos would NEVER think about drinking from the tap — at least not unless they've installed a super-expensive double osmosis water filter.

And a lot of us have. Or we buy our water in bottles.

Now the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power says forget all that — L.A. water is as clean and pure as anything you can buy in a fancy bottle.

OK, but how about the "experience" of drinking it? We did a taste test to judge for ourselves. More on that later.

But first, let's break down this report with Mark Gold, associate vice chancellor of environment and sustainability at UCLA.

Nothing to worry about

Do people need more convincing?

A brief overview of what was found?

With all this great news, we did a blind taste test at Take Two. Producer Julia Paskin and A Martinez sampled bottled, filtered and tap water. Without knowing which was which, they tried the water samples and guessed which type they were drinking.

When asked how he would fare, Mark Gold said, "I think I would've been like you, A. I don't have the refined palate that Julia has or my brother, Jonathan Gold has."

That's right, Jonathan Gold, restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times, is Mark's brother. Who knew?

To listen to the blind taste test and hear more about the report, click the blue play button above.

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