Whittier is located in Los Angeles County, about 12 miles southeast of the City of Los Angeles. A five Member City Council under the Council-Manager form of government directs the City. Whittier is a charter law city and was incorporated in 1898. The Charter form of City government was ratified in 1955. The City covers 14.8 square miles and has an estimated population of 87,369 as of January 1, 2018. Businesses and industries in the area include 436 professional services, 845 retail stores, 200 family-type restaurants, 37 manufacturing plants, 7 hotels and motels, 2 new automobile dealerships and over 303 specialty shops and boutiques, predominantly located in Uptown Whittier, the Quad shopping mall, as well as the Whittwood Town Center.
In 1784 Manuel Nieto, a retired captain who served in the Portola Expedition was granted 300,000 plus acres of land by the King of Spain. The land grant, in what is now California, stretched from the hills north of Whittier to the sea, and from the Santa Ana River to the San Gabriel River. By 1822 Mexico had achieved political independence from Spain, recalled the Spanish-appointed Governor from Alta California and appointed its own. In 1834 Mexico began to “secularize” the missions and issued land grants to individual rancheros. Juan Crispin Perez received a grant for Rancho Paso de Bartolo in 1835 for land that had initially belonged to the San Gabriel Mission. Perez eventually sold five parcels of the Paso de Bartolo land to Pio de Jesus Pico (1801-1894), a ranchero who had already served as Governor once (1832-33) and was to become last Mexico-appointed Governor of California (1845-46). Pico built his home east of the San Gabriel River and South of Whittier Boulevard (El Camino Real), now the Pio Pico State Historic Park. The Park underwent extensive renovations and re-opened in September 2003.
Modern Whittier roots can be traced to 160 acres of public land acquired in 1868 by Jacob Gerkens. Gerkens was a German immigrant who paid $234 to the U.S. government for the land under the auspices of the Homestead Act. Mr. Gerkens built a small cabin on the property which stands today as Jonathan Bailey House. The land changed hands several times before 1,259 acres were acquired in 1887 by a group of Quakers interested in founding a new community in California. The group acquired the land as the Pickering Land and Water Development Company. Many “Friends” on the East Coast bought lots from the Company sight unseen, but all “fair-minded people” were invited to settle here. Farmers in the area planted barley, beans, cabbage, corn, oats, peanuts, tomatoes and citrus. The town was named after fellow Quaker John Greenleaf Whittier, a famous poet, writer and newspaper editor. John Greenleaf Whittier never had the opportunity to visit the town that bears his name but he did write and dedicate a poem in honor of the new City
WHERE DOES WHITTIER CITY WATER COME FROM?
During 2017, the City of Whittier pumped 100 percent of our source water from four (4) active deep wells located in the Whittier Narrows area. These wells draw water from the Main San Gabriel groundwater basin and the Central groundwater basin. This water is then treated, pressurized and delivered to the City of Whittier’s eleven reservoirs for your use. In addition, the City of Whittier assists in the operation of a groundwater treatment facility located in the Central Basin and receives treated water from the Central Basin Plant as a drinking water supply. The treatment facility removed Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) to non-detectable levels.
ARE THERE CONTAMINANTS IN WHITTIER CITY WATER?
The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the
surface of land or through the layers of the ground it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animal and human activity.
Contaminants that may be present in source water include:
Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff and residential uses.
Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production or mining activities.
Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban storm runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining and farming.
Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gasoline stations, urban stormwater runoff, agricultural application and septic systems
SHOULD I DRINK AND BATHE WITH WHITTIER CITY WATER STRAIGHT FROM MY FAUCET?
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised people, such as those with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have had organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly persons and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.
The USEPA and the federal Centers for Disease Control guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from USEPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Time (7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in California)- source: 2017 Whittier consumer confidence report.
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