Is It Safe To Drink City Tap Water in Arizona?
Date: February 4, 2020
Arizona Water Safety & City Tap Water
Under the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to set rules for safe levels of contaminants in our water supply. All towns and cities are required to regularly test the local drinking water supply and publish the results.
In Phoenix, the city tap water you receive at home is usually safe to drink. However, if contaminants do end up in the water supply, you run the risk of those same contaminants pouring out of the faucets in your home. Contaminants can also find their way into your home’s water through the various pipes the water flows through. Either way, contaminated water isn’t something you want flowing into your home and endangering the health and wellness of your family.
If you’re concerned about city tap water safety and quality, keeping your family healthy is likely one of your biggest goals. The key is to be certain your home’s water is within the EPA’s safe range. This is especially critical when it comes to things like lead, barium, radium, and other waterborne contaminants that can be dangerous for humans to ingest.
Our local Valley water also has very high levels of minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium. These minerals can build up into harmful deposits in the pipes of your home, and make your tap water less than ideal for cooking, cleaning, or drinking.
One of the best ways to ensure it’s safe to drink tap water is to install a whole home water filtration system. As opposed to the reverse osmosis system that purifies water as it leaves the kitchen pipes, a whole home water filtration system cleans all the water as it enters the house. Whole-house filters are installed at the main water line to treat the entire home. Whole-house filters are designed to treat water for general usages such as cleaning, bathing, and laundry applications. They remove chlorine, bad tastes, and odors. Whole house systems also utilize a filtration membrane, but at a larger size than the ones found in a reverse osmosis filtration system.
IS PHOENIX CITY TAP WATER SAFE TO DRINK?
Our growing population is competing for the same limited supplies of water, and new Census data released in 2019 shows that Maricopa County is the fourth most populous county in the United States. In addition:
“Maricopa County once again added more new residents over the last year than any other county in the nation, according to new data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Today’s news marks the third year in a row that Maricopa County led the nation in population growth.”
Aside from its record population growth, Phoenix is also a popular tourist destination and winter home for snowbirds. The constant influx of visitors into the Valley increases the demand for clean, potable tap water. With the hot summer months rapidly approaching, now is a better time than ever to inform yourself about what may be in your Phoenix drinking water. And while there are certainly some substances that should raise your eyebrow, you should also be suspicious of accepting at face value some of the inflammatory headlines that have been written in recent years. (Sensationalism gets clicks, you know?) Here is a general breakdown of the important points you should know, both in terms of causes for concern in regards to Phoenix tap water and reasons to not lose any sleep about the quality of your drinking water.
ABOUT PHOENIX TAP WATER
THE BAD NEWS ABOUT PHOENIX TAP WATER
Chromium 6 is a naturally occurring chemical that is also produced in large quantities by certain industrial applications. Exposure to the chemical can cause skin burns, pneumonia and certain cancers. If it sounds familiar, it is probably because it is the chemical at the center of the legal battle famously fought by Erin Brockovich.
In 2016, a nonprofit research organization, the Environmental Working Group, released a report that showed that Phoenix tap water had exceptional levels of the contaminant in its drinking water. Among all major U.S. cities, Phoenix drinking water had “by far the highest average level” of chromium 6 present.
THE GOOD NEWS
While having such a relatively large amount of chromium 6 present in Phoenix tap water may sound incredibly scary on face value, it is important to approach this fact with some more context. The good news, if there can ever be any good news when it comes to contaminants in drinking water, is that because of some mitigating factors, you can feel perfectly comfortable using and drinking Phoenix tap water by taking some extremely reasonable precautions to decontaminate your water.
First, the highest levels of chromium 6 are found within groundwater, as opposed to surface water. The city of Phoenix’s tap water is primarily made up of the latter, with a whopping 98 percent surface water being rounded out by a mere 2 percent of groundwater.
Second, the Environmental Protection Agency has stringent standards and Phoenix drinking water consistently exceeds those standards for health and safety. Furthermore, Phoenix drinking water is tested more than five million times per year to ensure its continued safety for human consumption (though it is important to note that while the state of California does have a set maximum for the amount of chromium 6 that can be present in drinking water, the federal government does not have any such standard). While the Environmental Working Group’s report claims that a huge majority of cities tested had amounts of the substance in excess of California’s standard found in their drinking water, the Environment Protection Agency only found the substance in 2 percent of the sample it tested.
Third, it is incredibly easy to be proactive and take steps at home to make your drinking water even safer for you and your family.
Reverse osmosis filtration systems are a simple and cost-effective solution to ensure the quality of your Phoenix drinking water. Reverse osmosis is considered the gold standard of filtered water and is the same method bottled water companies use for their products.
As an added benefit, the filtration system will also help to eliminate all of the issues associated with hard water as well as that unpleasant chlorine taste. While not causing the same alarm as chromium 6 and other contaminants, the calcium, magnesium and other minerals that contribute to hard water can be a nuisance because of the havoc it wreaks on fixtures and the way it interferes with soaps and detergents. And while chlorine is an important additive for preventing bacteria in public water sources, it does not smell or taste very good.
A reverse osmosis filtration system contains three cylindrical canisters. One is a membrane and two are carbon filters. Tap water first goes through one of the carbon filters. This step is to remove any large sediment that can clog or interfere with the membrane. Then the membrane, which is made of plastic, works to remove anything the carbon filter might have missed. This is all before the water is finally passed through the other carbon filter for good measure and then directly to your tap.
As opposed to the reverse osmosis system that purifies water as it leaves the kitchen pipes, a whole home water filtration system cleans all the water as it enters the house. Whole-house filters are installed at the main water line to treat the entire home. Whole-house filters are designed to treat water for general usages such as cleaning, bathing, and laundry applications. They remove chlorine and bad tastes and odors. Whole house systems also utilize a filtration membrane, but at a larger size than the ones found in a reverse osmosis filtration system.
If you’re interested in improving the quality of your drinking water, contact us today. Give us a call at 602-787-3956 or fill out our online form! With a new reverse osmosis or whole house water filtration system, you can count on safe, refreshing, and delicious tasting tap water to drink all year round.