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Tempe Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Tempe, Arizona

Where does Tempe get its water from? In 2017, the drinking water in Tempe was produced at two conventional surface water treatment plants and ten groundwater wells. The Johnny G. Martinez Water Treatment Plant is located at 255 E. Marigold Lane. The South Tempe Water Treatment Plant is located at 6600 S. Price Road. The City of Tempe provides water to its customers from several sources: Central Arizona Project (CAP) water – Beginning its journey from Lake Havasu, Colorado River water is delivered through the CAP canal system to central Arizona, including the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Tempe used 1.3 billion gallons billion gallons (or 3.5 million gallons per day) of Colorado River water delivered by CAP for municipal use in 2017. Salt River Project (SRP) water – This water is collected from the Salt and Verde River watersheds, stored in six SRP reservoirs and diverted into SRP canals at the Granite Reef Dam in Mesa. 

SRP also relies on groundwater wells to supplement surface water in the canal system. Tempe’s allocation of SRP water depends on the amount of runoff from the watershed and the amount of water available in storage in SRP reservoirs, and therefore varies from year to year. Tempe’s SRP water use for 2017 was 12.5 billion gallons (or 34.2 million gallons per day).  Groundwater – In 2017, Tempe used ten of its groundwater wells to supplement the supplies of Central Arizona Project water and Salt River Project water. Tempe pumped 3.7 billion gallons (or 10 million gallons per day) of water from its wells, which was a combination of groundwater and surface water previously stored underground in our aquifers. Is Tempe's water safe to drink?

Source: City of Tempe 

Contaminants Found in Tempe'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.

Perfluorinated Chemicals

Perfluorinated chemicals are a group of synthetic compounds used in hundreds of products from nonstick pans to stain-repellent clothing, wire coatings and firefighting foam.

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-228 & Uranium. 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.

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. 

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 Perfluorinated Chemicals in excess of health guideline

Endocrine Disruption | Cancer:  These chemicals have been linked to endocrine disruption, accelerated puberty, liver and immune system damage, thyroid changes, and cancer risk. Sometimes referred to as PFC, PFOA, PFOS, or PFCs.

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.

Contaminant Levels Compared to Other Regions

Arsenic

 - Health Guideline: 0.004 ppb

 - National: 1.33 ppb

 - State: 5.02 ppb

 - Tempe, AZ: 2.38 ppb

Perfluorinated Chemicals (Status): 

No national drinking water standard exists. This utility detected Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHXS), Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) & Perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHPA). Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a member of a group of perfluorinated chemicals used in many consumer products. PFOS and other perfluorinated chemicals can cause serious health effects, including cancer, endocrine disruption, accelerated puberty, liver and immune system damage, and thyroid changes. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and they accumulate in people.

Chromium (hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

 - State: 4.69 ppb

 - Tempe, AZ: 2.33 ppb

Radiological Contaminants

 - No standard exists for this contaminant which cannot be good.

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - State: 13.6 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Tempe, AZ: 46.4 ppb

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April Jones

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

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