Published: September 12, 2017

    The Contaminants Lurking in Arizona’s Water Supply

    Arizona’s water situation becomes more perilous with each passing year. The desert state is in the midst of a drought that has spanned nearly two decades. Reports indicate that by 2019 the water level of Lake Mead on the Colorado could drop below 1,075 feet. This water level would trigger compulsory cutbacks in water usage for Arizona and the other basin states of Nevada and California.

    One cause of this ongoing water problem is the pace with which officials allocate water to the various communities in Arizona – quite simply, municipalities are using more water each month than the state produces. But this is only the beginning of Arizona’s water woes – perhaps in part due to the water shortage, many alarming contaminants have been recorded in large doses throughout the state.

    Just a few months ago the water in Tempe was discovered to contain total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) that exceed the federal limit of 80 parts per billion. The EPA warns that families that consume water high in TTHMs run the risk of developing problems with their kidney, liver, and central nervous system later in life.

    After the national scare following the lead contamination in Flint, MI, many Americans are surprised to learn that lead contamination can happen in their own water supply. The Arizona Republic noted that last year four test sites in Tempe were found to contain lead at more than 15 parts per billion.

    While this news is concerning, the water supply was probably not the direct cause. For many homes the problem originates in the actual piping. Old lead or copper pipes in your service lines (or in your home) can corrode over time, causing the lead to leach into the water supply. With an aging infrastructure water treatment directly at the tap is the preferred method of guaranteeing your family is safe from the dangers of lead consumption.

    A report conducted by The Environmental Working Group detected one of the most high-profile contaminants, the deadly chemical Chromium-6 made infamous by the Erin Brockovich case, at dangerous levels in the city of Phoenix.

    1.5 million people in the area are at risk of ingesting chromium-6 at an average concentration of 7 parts per billion. This is more than 3 times the average concentration of the chemical in Hinkley, California, at the time the Erin Brockovich trial occurred. This chemical can cause cancer, congenital disorders, ulcers, and many other health issues in small amounts.

    One of the biggest concerns is the presence of arsenic in Arizona’s water supply. The water in the Hopi Reservation was found to contain more than twice the federal limit of arsenic in its water, which poses a clear cancer risk for anyone drinking it.

    Human activities like mining can aggravate natural processes and increase the likelihood of arsenic buildup in Arizona groundwater, according to the Water Resources Research Center of the University of Arizona. The problem is ongoing in the state, with 19 percent of wells in the Southwestern United States testing above the federal limit for arsenic concentration.

    As a concerned homeowner you must take the proper steps to treat your water at home, as the road to eradicating all of these contaminants on a state level is a long one. Luckily, the Pelican Water NSF-Certified reverse osmosis water filter is proven to effectively remove 99% of arsenic, 98% of Chromium-6, and many other common contaminants found in Arizona’s water supply. Call Pelican Water today to start the process of securing your water quality with the power of reverse osmosis.