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Drinking Water Quality Report


City of Phoenix Water Services Department - Phoenix, AZ


Serves 1,200,000 people - Test data available: 2004-2007

This drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. It is part of EWG's national database that includes 47,667 drinking water utilities and 20 million test results. Water utilities nationwide detected more than 300 pollutants between 2004 and 2009. More than half of these chemicals are unregulated, legal in any amount. Despite this widespread contamination, the federal government invests few resources to protecting rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater from pollution in the first place. The information below summarizes test results for this utility and lists potential health concerns.

For more information from your water utility, please see their Consumer Confidence Report.

NOTE: The average detected contaminant values in this table are generally overstated.  The values do not take into account the quantity of surface water compared to groundwater.  Contaminant detection levels are generally lower in surface water.  Groundwater sources include 30 to 35 wells, are 4 % of the supply, and 66% of the samples.  Surface water sources include 6 water treatment plants, make up 96 % of the supply, and only 34 % of the samples.

 
This Drinking Water System
National Average
Exceed Health GuidelinesTests showing chemicals at concentrations above health guidelines established by federal and state health agencies. These guidelines are typically set at a levels that pose no significant health risk.
7 chemicals
4
Health Standard ExceedencesChemicals detected at concentrations above the legal limit, the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCLs) established by the U.S. EPA. Most MCLs are based on annual averages, so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.
3 chemicals
0.5
Pollutants FoundThe total number of contaminants detected since 2004, according to data provided by the state water agency.
13 chemicals
8
Tests ConductedThe total number of number of water quality tests conducted by water utilities and recorded in data provided by the state water agency.
6,908tests
420

Contaminants Exceeding Health Guidelines

ContaminantAverage/
Maximum
Result
Health Limit
Exceeded
Legal Limit
Exceeded

Testing History

-Tested      -Detected      -Over Health Guidelines      -Over Legal Limit*
Arsenic (total)Arsenic contaminates drinking water due to mining runoff, erosion of natural deposits, emissions from glass and electronics processing and the use of arsenical compounds as wood preservatives and pesticides.1.62 ppb
13.1 ppb
Yes
MCLGA non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.: 0 ppb
Yes
10 ppb
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)Total trihalomethanes constitute the sum of four disinfection byproducts: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.38.47 ppb
95.88 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
Yes
80 ppb
Total haloacetic acids (HAAs)Total haloacetic acids refers to the sum of the concentrations of five related disinfection byproducts in a water sample: dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid and dibromoacetic acid.16.33 ppb
72.99 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
Yes
60 ppb
Lead (total)Lead is a metal that enters water by corrosion of household plumbing systems, discharge of industrial pollution and erosion of natural deposits.1.35 ppb
13 ppb
Yes
MCLGA non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.: 0 ppb
No
CopperCopper is a naturally occuring metal and drinking water contaminant that enters tap water by corrosion of household plumbing systems and erosion of natural deposits.135.41 ppb
996 ppb
Yes
300 ppb
No
1000 ppb
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalateDi(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is a pollutant from rubber and industrial chemical factories and a leachate from PVC pipes; it is classified by EPA as a probable human carcinogen.0.05 ppb
2.2 ppb
Yes
MCLGA non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.: 0 ppb
No
6 ppb
Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium)Alpha particles are a form of radiation associated with radioactive mining waste pollutants and natural sources.0.87 pCi/L
2.2 pCi/L
Yes
MCLGA non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.: 0 pCi/L
No
15 pCi/L
NOTE: Each dot in the above graph represents one month.
* Water utilities are noted as exceeding the legal limit if any test is above the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Most MCLs are based on annual averages so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.

Other Detected Contaminants

ContaminantAverage/
Maximum
Result
Health Limit
Exceeded
Legal Limit
Exceeded

Testing History

-Tested      -Detected      -Over Health Guidelines      -Over Legal Limit*
NitrateNitrate enters drinking water sources from fertilizer runoff, leaching septic tanks, and erosion of natural deposits; it is also emitted by chemical, petrochemical and metal-finishing industries.1.74 ppm
8.1 ppm
No
10 ppm
No
10 ppm
Barium (total)Barium is a mineral that enters drinking water through drilling and mining waste runoff, discharges from chemical industries and erosion of natural deposits.54.55 ppb
220 ppb
No
700 ppb
No
2000 ppb
Chromium (total)Chromium is a metal that pollutes drinking water due to discharge from steel and pulp mills and erosion of natural deposits.9.59 ppb
56.3 ppb
No
100 ppb
No
100 ppb
HexachlorocyclopentadieneHexachlorocyclopentadiene is an industrial pollutant discharged from chemical factories.<0.01 ppb
0.11 ppb
No
40 ppb
No
50 ppb
Mercury (total inorganic)Mercury is a metal from refinery and factory pollution, coal burning, landfill and agricultural runoff and erosion of natural deposits.0.01 ppb
0.5 ppb
No
1.2 ppb
No
2 ppb
Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium)Alpha particles are a form of radiation associated with mining waste pollutants and natural sources.0.6 pCi/L
2.4 pCi/L
NoNo
15 pCi/L
NOTE: Each dot in the above graph represents one month.
* Water utilities are noted as exceeding the legal limit if any test is above the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Most MCLs are based on annual averages so exceeding the MCL for one test does not necessarily indicate that the system is out of compliance.

Contaminants Not Detected - 70 chemicals

1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, 1,2 Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloropropane, 2,3,7,8-TCDD (Dioxin), 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), 2,4-d, Alachlor (Lasso), Antimony (total), Aroclor 1016, Aroclor 1221, Aroclor 1232, Aroclor 1242, Aroclor 1248, Aroclor 1254, Aroclor 1260, Asbestos, Atrazine, Benzene, Benzo[a]pyrene, Beryllium (total), Bromate, Cadmium (total), Carbofuran, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlordane, Chlorite, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Combined Radium (-226 & -228), Cyanide, Dalapon, Di(2-Ethylhexyl) adipate, Dichloromethane (methylene chloride), Dinoseb, Diquat, Endothall, Endrin, Ethylbenzene, Ethylene dibromide (EDB), Glyphosate, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB), Lindane, Methoxychlor, Monochlorobenzene (Chlorobenzene), Nitrate & nitrite, Nitrite, o-Dichlorobenzene, Oxamyl (Vydate), p-Dichlorobenzene, Pentachlorophenol, Picloram, Radium-226, Radium-228, Selenium (total), Simazine, Styrene, Tetrachloroethylene, Thallium (total), Toluene, Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Toxaphene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Vinyl chloride, Xylenes (total)

Pollution Summary

13Total Contaminants Detected (2004 - 2007)

Barium (total), Chromium (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Arsenic (total), Copper, Lead (total), Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium)

2Agricultural Pollutants
(pesticides, fertilizer, factory farms)

Nitrate, Arsenic (total)

5Sprawl and Urban Pollutants
(road runoff, lawn pesticides, human waste)

Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate, Arsenic (total), Copper, Lead (total)

10Industrial Pollutants

Barium (total), Chromium (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Arsenic (total), Lead (total), Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium)

3Water Treatment and Distribution Byproducts
(pipes and fixtures, treatment chemicals and byproducts)

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Total haloacetic acids (HAAs), Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

9Naturally Occurring
(naturally present but increased for lands denuded by sprawl, agriculture, or industrial development)

Barium (total), Chromium (total), Mercury (total inorganic), Nitrate, Alpha particle activity (incl. radon & uranium), Arsenic (total), Copper, Lead (total), Alpha particle activity (excl radon and uranium)

1Unregulated Contaminants
EPA has not established a maximum legal limit in tapwater for these contaminants

Lead (total)

EPA Violation Summary

Violation CategoryNumber of Violations
MCL and Treatment
(click see violations)
3
Reporting
(click see violations)
11
Monitoring
(click see violations)
21

Information on violations is drawn directly from EPA's national violations database in the Agency's Safe Drinking Water Information System. Analyses by others have raised questions about the quality of the information in EPA's database. For the purposes of this investigation, EWG is not showing below or including in our analyses, those violations for individual water suppliers that occurred on days for which the total number of violations assigned by EPA to that water supplier was greater than 20. This criteria was based on common characteristics of incorrect violations data as identified by water utilities, from a review of EPA's violations data by several hundred utilities prior to the release of EWG's investigation.