What Types of Contaminants Are Most Important to Remove from Arizona Water?

July 17, 2019

There are more than 1.5 million people whose water is provided by the City of Phoenix Water Services Department, and even more people throughout the Valley who get water from the same or similar sources as the city of Phoenix. Those sources include nearby lakes, rivers, streams, springs and wells, and 98 percent of the water in Phoenix got its start as snowpack.

The Salt, Verde and Colorado rivers are the primary sources of untreated surface water for the area, though other water sources are used as well. The city is responsible for adhering to all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for filtering certain contaminants out of the water. While no water (even bottled water) is going to be completely free of contaminants, it is reasonable to expect any water meant for drinking to be at least reasonably clear to the point where those contaminants that are unable to be filtered out will not cause any harm.

Here are just a few examples of contaminants that are a target of water filtration in Scottsdale, AZ and should be removed from the water whenever possible:

  • Microbes: Examples of microbial contaminants include viruses and bacteria. These microbes often come from wastewater treatment plants, septic systems, wildlife and agricultural operations. The contaminants can seep through the soil and infect the groundwater, or could be subject to runoff and be carried into rivers, lakes and other sources of untreated water.
  • Pesticides and herbicides: Pesticides and herbicides are frequently used in agricultural and residential environments. These substances, too, can seep through the soil and affect the groundwater, or can be carried by storm runoff to other water sources. They can be hazardous to people’s health, so it’s important to filter them out of the water.
  • Inorganic contaminants: Certain types of inorganic contaminants, such as various metals and salts, can make their way into the water. These substances can be naturally occurring, or they could be a result of storm water runoff, industrial operations, domestic wastewater discharges, mining, farming or oil and gas production.
  • Organic chemical contaminants: These can include synthetic and volatile organic chemicals. These contaminants tend to be byproducts of certain industrial processes, like petroleum production, but can also come from gas stations, septic systems and general storm water runoff.
  • Radioactive contaminants: Radioactive contaminants can be naturally occurring in some circumstances, but more often they’re caused by production of oils and gases, or mining operations in a particular area.

Municipal water treatment focuses on the effective removal of all of these types of contaminants so they do not impact your drinking water. If you’re interested in learning more about the contaminants and potential health effects related to them, you can contact EPA representatives or local city officials with the City of Phoenix Water Services Department.

The team at WES Water is also happy to answer any questions you have about the general processes associated with water filtration in Scottsdale, AZ, and how you can better filter the water at your home or business. For more information and answers to your questions, reach out us today, and we’ll be happy to speak with you.

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