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Goleta residents claim tap water may be causing skin irritations

Bennet: "My skin was just burning."

GOLETA, Calif. - A group of mothers in Goleta are speaking up about their concerns about tap water causing skin irritations in recent weeks. 

One of the women is Caroline Bennet. She is a stay-at-home mother who is worried for her family's safety. 

“I noticed after showering that my skin was just burning," said Bennet.

Water is a basic necessity that Bennet is now afraid of. She and her family has avoided showering in their own home. 

“I can’t shower. I have to go to my sister’s house or I use bottled water," said Bennet.

The concerned mother tried to fix the issue by purchasing water filters, but it didn't work. She and her family continued to have itchy scalps and their eyes stung each time they came into contact with water flowing out of their faucets. Bennet bought a water test kit online. 

“Everything was normal except for trihalomethanes which were very high. 150 milligrams per liter which is not common. The health limit is 80," said Bennet.

Trihalomethane is formed when chlorine is mixed in with water at distribution centers.

"The test showed a level of 150 micrograms per liter for trihalomethanes. This is not common or normal. The average of 700 US cities is 42. The average of 22 swimming pools is 132. So we are showering and drinking water that is worse than swimming pool water," said Bennet.

The Goleta Valley Water District does use chlorination for disinfection. 

“That is a very common way for both water districts across the state and country use to disinfect water," said KK Holland, policy analyst for Goleta Valley Water District. 

Bennet sent her testing results to the water district. However, officials say online water tests aren't reliable.

“All of those water tests wills state very clearly they’re only for informational purposes only. They’re not for use for regulatory compliance," said Holland.

The water district says records show the district's water quality is in compliance with all state and federal regulations. However, Bennet and others remain convinced the tap water is hurting their families.

Click here to read the district's most recent water quality report.


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