Northern Arizona Common Water Problems

Most of our water in Northern Arizona is groundwater. We are fortunate in that our water does not typically suffer from industrial pollution. However, water acts as a solvent, dissolving and carrying all sorts of natural and man-made “contaminants” that can effect the working or health aspects of your water.

If you are on a “municipal” water supply, it is the responsibility of the water utility to deliver water that meets the minimum EPA standards. Your water company should supply you with their water reports, or Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) when asked. For finding where to contact your local water supplier, click the following link: https://ofmpub.epa.gov/apex/safewater/f?p=136:102::::::.  If you are a private well owner, you are your own water company. You become responsible for insuring the safety of your water supply. For well owners, we strongly recommend regular bacteria checks and an occasional inorganic water analysis. Whether you have a well or a municipal supply, your water will have more than H2O in it, and it is likely to be improved with treatment.

Hardness

Almost all of our Northern Arizona water is “hard”, with calcium bicarbonates being the primary constituent of the water. Typical hardness ranges from 7 grains per gallon to over 30 grains, but hardness readings of up to over 100 grains are also found. Hardness typically manifests itself as “lime scale”. Hardness levels above 10.5 are considered extremely hard.

Arsenic

Most of our water contains arsenic. Typical ranges are from 5 parts per billion to 50 parts per billion, but can be higher. See our Arsenic page.

Chlorine

Municipal water supplies are generally chlorinated to help prevent bacterial outbreaks. While most of our water supplies are not too heavily chlorinated, the chlorine can give an unpleasant taste or odor to the water. Chlorine also reacts with other substances in the water, creating chlorine byproducts, such as trihalomethanes.

Other Health Concerns

Hexavalent Chromium

Hexavalent Chromium is the contaminant made famous by Erin Brockovich and the Julia Roberts movie of the same name. It has been linked to a variety of cancers, but is unregulated by the EPA, and the chemical industry lobby is working hard to keep it that way Over 200 million Americans are exposed to potentially unhealthy levels of this toxin. A recent two year EPA ordered study showed that Arizona, and Yavapai County in particular, has some of the highest levels in the country. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has further information and an interactive map that may show the levels found in your water supply: https://www.ewg.org/research/chromium-six-found-in-us-tap-water#.W70mAfZRcdU%20’%20. Our Kinetico reverse osmosis system is certified to remove an average of 97.7%.

Radium

Radium and other radioactive elements are also found in Arizona water supplies and are linked to variety of cancers. For further information and to see the interactive map, visit the EWG link: https://www.ewg.org/research/170-million-us-drink-radioactive-tap-water-trump-nominee-faked-data-hide-cancer-risk#.W70o5vZRcdU. Both our Kinetico water softeners and reverse osmosis systems are certified to reduce radium about 80% . When combined, reduction is around 96%.

Other

Over 80.000 man made chemicals, with more than 10,000 in wide spread use, have the potential to contaminate, with varying degrees of risk, our water supply. Yet the EPA only regulates about 90 of them. Trace amounts of pharmaceuticals, which are also not regulated, are also showing up in most water supplies. Because testing for these contaminants is not required and could be prohibitively expensive, for many people it just makes sense to take matters into their hands and proactively provide a last line of defense with home water treatment equipment.

Other Well Water Problems

Other less common water problems we encounter in our area on some private wells are iron, manganese, rotten egg smell, nitrates, bacteria, and heavy metals.