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Phoenix Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Phoenix, Arizona

The sources of Phoenix’s drinking water include rivers, lakes, streams, springs and wells. In 2017, about 98 percent of Phoenix’s water came from surface water that mostly started as snow pack. Phoenix’s primary sources of untreated surface water are the Salt, Verde and Colorado rivers. Some water from the Agua Fria River is mixed with water from the Colorado River when stored in Lake Pleasant. The water is then delivered to one of the city’s five water treatment plants. Colorado River water is delivered to the city via the Central Arizona Project (CAP) aqueduct. Water from the Salt and Verde rivers is delivered via the Salt River Project (SRP) canal network. The remaining two percent of drinking water was supplied by about 20 groundwater wells currently operated by the city.

Source: https://www.phoenix.gov/waterservicessite/documents/wsdprimarywqr.pdf

Contaminants Found in Phoenix's Water Supply

(Detected above health guidelines)

Arsenic

Arsenic is a potent carcinogen and common contaminant in drinking water. Arsenic causes thousands of cases of cancer each year in the U.S. Click here to read more about arsenic.

Bromate

Bromate is a carcinogenic disinfection byproduct formed when source waters containing bromide are treated with ozonation or sodium hypochlorite. Studies of laboratory animals show that bromate damages DNA and causes cancer in multiple organs. Click here to read more about disinfection byproducts.

Chlorite

Chlorite is a disinfection byproduct resulting from water treatment with chlorine dioxide. Chlorite decreases hemoglobin levels and causes other hematologic effects.

Chromium (hexavalent)

Chromium (hexavalent) is a carcinogen that commonly contaminates American drinking water. Chromium (hexavalent) in drinking water may be due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in mineral deposits and groundwater. Read more about chromium (hexavalent).

Radiological contaminants

This utility detected Radium, combined (-226 & -228), Radium-226, Radium-228 & Uranium.

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Trihalomethanes are cancer-causing contaminants that form during water treatment with chlorine and other disinfectants. The total trihalomethanes group includes four chemicals: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform. 

Source: https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/system.php?pws=AZ0407025

Potential Health Effects of Consuming These Contaminants

Health risks of Arsenic in excess of the health guidelines

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.004 ppb for arsenic was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer. 

Health risks of Bromate in excess of the health guidelines 

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.1 ppb for bromate was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of Chlorite in excess of the health guidelines 

Change in blood chemistry: The health guideline of 50 ppb for chlorite was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against change in blood chemistry.

Health risks of Chromium (hexavalent) in excess of the health guidelines

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.02 ppb for chromium (hexavalent) was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of Radiological contaminants in excess of the health guidelines

Cancer: Radiological contaminants leach into water from certain minerals and from mining. Drinking water contamination with radioactive substances increases the risk of cancer and may harm fetal development.

Health risks of Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) in excess of the health guidelines 

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.8 ppb for trihalomethanes was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a draft public health goal, the level of drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Source: https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/system.php?pws=AZ0407025

Contaminant Levels Compared to Other Regions

Arsenic

 - Health Guideline: 0.004 ppb

 - National: 1.33 ppb

 - State: 5.02 ppb

 - Phoenix, AZ: 5.66 ppb

Bromate

 - Health Guideline: 0.1 ppb

 - Phoenix, AZ: 0.256 ppb

 - National: 0.834 ppb

 - State: 0.908 ppb

Chlorite

 - Health Guideline: 50.0 ppb

 - Phoenix, AZ: 138.2 ppb

 - State: 150.1 ppb

 - National: 267.4 ppb

Chromium (hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

 - State: 4.69 ppb

 - Phoenix, AZ: 7.85 ppb

Radiological Contaminants

 - N/A

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - State: 13.6 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Phoenix, AZ: 45.0 ppb

Source: https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/system.php?pws=AZ0407025

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Jason Nash

A hiker, blogger, and water quality expert...

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