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Old 05-30-2008, 09:26 AM
 
50 posts, read 95,199 times
Reputation: 26
Question Drinking water question

Is it recommended that you buy your drinking water? I see people filling up gallon containers or renting a home water unit. Is there a problem drinking the tap water? (Phoenix- N. Scottsdale area)

Thanks!

 
Old 05-30-2008, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Gilbert
79 posts, read 252,986 times
Reputation: 49
I don't think that our water here is unhealthy, but it surely tastes terrible. That is why I buy bottled water.
 
Old 05-30-2008, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
16,585 posts, read 19,558,167 times
Reputation: 8662
The water is safe. It can taste (and smell) bad at times in the east valley because much of it is from surface supplies that are subject to algae growth. Treatment kills and removes algae but some taste remains. Unlike many cities, however, the Phoenix surface water is not recycled from some upstream city. So you don't get industrial pollutants and pharmaceuticals like have been detected elsewhere in the surface supplies.

Groundwater varies a lot in quality. The worst problem is the extremely high hardness of the groundwater, salinity in a few locations and, in some areas, arsenic and other trace metals. All the public water supplies (provided by cities or private companies) are extensively tested, meet established standards and users are sent a report annually on the results. All bets are off if you have a private well. If you do, be sure to get a test done to see what you are putting in your body!

BTW, bottled water is wasteful and environmentally unfriendly. Do the earth a favor and get a filter or an RO unit if you don't like the taste/worry about contaminants.
 
Old 05-30-2008, 07:20 PM
 
3,886 posts, read 6,149,722 times
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It's safe in some areas. There have been some real problems in Scottsdale and Phoenix with the water being undrinkable because of health issues and people told to buy water for drinking and brushing teeth. They also advised recently that they shouldn't even shower in it, it was so bad.

Tap-water ban in effect indefinitely (broken link)

Air & Water News and Warnings Report: Water Warning: Contaminated Water in Kingman, Arizona

A couple of other problems around the valley as well. I finally put a carbon filter on my faucet and ice maker. We are not known for great clean or taste good water here. It's not one of our strong points.
Our water comes from far away, and we share it with a lot of people in the west. It's sort of nasty. lol
 
Old 05-30-2008, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
16,585 posts, read 19,558,167 times
Reputation: 8662
Quote:
Originally Posted by twiggy View Post
It's safe in some areas. There have been some real problems in Scottsdale and Phoenix with the water being undrinkable because of health issues and people told to buy water for drinking and brushing teeth. They also advised recently that they shouldn't even shower in it, it was so bad.

Tap-water ban in effect indefinitely (broken link)

Air & Water News and Warnings Report: Water Warning: Contaminated Water in Kingman, Arizona

A couple of other problems around the valley as well. I finally put a carbon filter on my faucet and ice maker. We are not known for great clean or taste good water here. It's not one of our strong points.
Our water comes from far away, and we share it with a lot of people in the west. It's sort of nasty. lol
You are exaggerating the problem out of proportion. While I can't argue a subjective judgment like taste, there is no evidence whatsoever to support your contention that Phoenix area water is unsafe. In fact, the evidence shows exactly the opposite. The incident to which you allude was an operator error and not a systemic or a continuing problem. It should not have happened but the quick action to get the word out and correct it was encouraging.

Also, most of our water does not come from a long way away and is not shared with others. Most water in the east valley is from groundwater that has been in the aquifer for centuries or from surface supplies from snowmelt on the Salt and Verde watersheds. There are no major users on either river before the intake plants. Colorado River water is largely from virgin snowmelt on the west slopes of the Rocky Mountains with lesser contributions from Nev and AZ. Again, there are few users before the take off point for the CAP. CAP water does come a long way, but it is in a concrete canal the entire distance.

Most of the far west side cities rely on groundwater supplies or CAP. These aquifers are of mixed quality. Some have agricultural contaminants and even industrial contamination, but that is not getting into the water at the tap and in most cases is being cleaned up. The other problem in some wells is metals like arsenic. These are removed or reduced to federal standards before delivery to the customer. The standards were higher until a few years back when the Clinton admin lowered them (made them harder to meet).

Most people do not find groundwater taste objectionable unless TDS is very high. Surface water can get pretty awful tasting in the summer, I know. Anyway, the bottom line is the water may taste like crap but it is safe to drink. In fact, there was a big bottled water company here until a few years ago - Le Nature or something like that. Ever drink that?
 
Old 05-30-2008, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
27,544 posts, read 19,876,217 times
Reputation: 74627
Pondersoa is 100% correct. Those problems Twiggy mentioned were addressed and taken care of immediately, a few months ago.
As far as safe water, again Ponderosa hit's the nail on the head. I've been here in the valley for over 40 years and never encountered any problems. Yes, once in a blue moon you may get a flat taste, and yes it's hard water, but our water is one of the cleanest and safest in the country.
The only difference between bottled water and our tap water is the taste. Bottled water cost far more than city tap water. And there is no plastic to dispose of with city water.
 
Old 05-31-2008, 12:03 AM
 
3,886 posts, read 6,149,722 times
Reputation: 1421
Wow, you guys need to settle down. At least once a year we have a "do not drink the water" warning in Arizona. It does not taste good either. These warnings come on the news and I did not exaggerate anything. We don't share our water? It comes from our mountains in AZ does it? Some is dammed but it's not enough for Phoenix to use. It comes from the Colorado river 336 miles in canals to Phoenix. Or we recycle already used waste water for the rest of our stuff. And it tastes like it traveled 336 miles to get here. I'm not an idiot, these warnings are put out by the Arizona Public Water Regulators. We had 2 or 3 last year too. One in Chandler and two on the west side. Still, I drink it, I just put a carbon filter on it so it doesn't taste so nasty. Your Arizona patriotism is getting a bit much if to love AZ you have to drink straight tap water. Sorry, I don't love it that much. It's stinky too. No way guys. You know humans run those water plants, and sometimes humans make mistakes too. You act like they are AZ water angels or something. Come on, our water taste gross compared to a lot of other states, and I'm not sure how many warnings other states get about their water or how often, but even if they fix it quick, which sometimes they do, but in Scottsdale they did not, that's all good, but they haven't fixed the taste. Why does this topic excite you so?
Here: I love Arizona's water, it's Colorado River fresh! There, was that more appropriate? Sooooorry!
 
Old 05-31-2008, 01:20 AM
 
50 posts, read 95,199 times
Reputation: 26
I certainly appreciate all your opinions! Good or bad! Of course contaminates are very and most important but it still all comes down to taste (and smell) in the end. Once (In WI) I had brown water come out of my tap and the city rep that was here said, "No worry, it's fine to drink." And, he did. No thanks!
 
Old 05-31-2008, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
16,585 posts, read 19,558,167 times
Reputation: 8662
Quote:
Originally Posted by twiggy View Post
Why does this topic excite you so?
Here: I love Arizona's water, it's Colorado River fresh! There, was that more appropriate? Sooooorry!
It excites me because I spent 35 years working at delivering that water to your tap. I have been involved in the design of wells, distribution, waste disposal and recharge facilities here, around the US and two foreign countries. I will admit that some of the private water companies are lacking in capitalization, management skill and staff training in particular and that has been a source of problems from time to time. I'm not fond of the patchwork system of private operators in AZ and I think they need more oversight. But by and large, as nitram said, the PHX area - particularly those served by municipal systems - has state of the art facilities and some of the safest water in the world.
 
Old 05-31-2008, 08:05 AM
 
Location: High Desert of California
422 posts, read 699,331 times
Reputation: 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponderosa View Post
It excites me because I spent 35 years working at delivering that water to your tap. I have been involved in the design of wells, distribution, waste disposal and recharge facilities here, around the US and two foreign countries. I will admit that some of the private water companies are lacking in capitalization, management skill and staff training in particular and that has been a source of problems from time to time. I'm not fond of the patchwork system of private operators in AZ and I think they need more oversight. But by and large, as nitram said, the PHX area - particularly those served by municipal systems - has state of the art facilities and some of the safest water in the world.
Listen to Ponderosa as he/she is a professional is their field.

I am sure there is a state water board, or regional water district, responsible for water quality. Also, the EPA would get involved if there was a water pollution issue. So far I have read nor heard of any of the above.

As to aquafier water, (that's probably spelled wrong sorry) I have drunk water from the underground water tables for over 30 years. I am still here. Our water has a high level of arsenic, which the EPA has determined as unsafe, so now we are paying more for water to have the arsenic removed. BTW, the level of arsenic was never scientifically proven to show any potential harm.

Another bonus is a lot of underground water contains much needed trace elements needed for bodily functions. Think selenium and fluoride.

I have to run so I will end my water comments for now.

LF
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