Yuma’s drinking water meets standards
Quality report is now available online
Yuma’s drinking water met all state and federal regulatory standards in 2017, according to the city’s latest Water Quality Report.
The report is now available online on the city website. The report — also known as a Consumer Confidence Report — contains information on source water, the levels of any detected contaminants, and the city’s compliance with drinking water rules, including monitoring. Some pieces of educational information concerning the city’s water are also included.
The reports are based on data collected between January and December.
The report also contains short, easy-to-read sections on water issues including a description of the source water used by Yuma; substances that could be in city water and where they come from; a description of the treatment processes used by the city’s Main Street and Agua Viva water treatment facilities; and a warning on the impact of lead in home plumbing to citizens’ health and how they can reduce their potential exposure.
The main source of Yuma’s drinking water is surface water from the Colorado River, which is delivered to treatment facilities via canals. The water is treated by two plants with differing technologies. The Main Street Treatment Facility is a conventional surface water treatment plan. The Agua Viva Water Treatment Facility treats surface water and groundwater.
All drinking water, including bottled water, contains at least small amounts of some contaminants and does not necessarily indicate a health risk. To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prescribes regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water.
As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals — and in some cases, radioactive materials — and substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Contaminants that may be present in water include microbial contaminants, such as viruses and metals; inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals; pesticides and herbicides, which may come from agriculture; organic chemical contaminants, which may come from sources such as gas stations and septic systems; and radioactive contaminants, which may result from oil and gas production and mining activities.
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. These people should seek advice from their healthcare providers.
Elevated lead can cause serious health problems, especially in pregnant and young children. Yuma is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water but the report notes that the city cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing. It recommends flushing the tap from 30 seconds to two minutes before using water for drinking or cooking.
The city participated in the third stage of the EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule program by performing additional tests on its drinking water. The program provides the federal agency with data on the occurrence of contaminants suspected to be in the drinking water to determine if the EPA needs to introduce new regulatory standards to improve drinking water quality.
Individual residents who desire a printed copy may go to www.YumaAz.gov/WaterQualityRep to print out a copy or may pick up a copy at either the city services bill payment counter on the first floor of City Hall, 1 City Plaza, or by calling the Utilities Department at (928) 373-4502 and requesting a copy.
The city’s Water Quality Report is required through the Safe Drinking Water Act, a 1974 federal law that works through effectively setting health-based standards and regulations and overseeing drinking water suppliers. Amendments to the Act in 1986 and 1996 increased the effectiveness and protection of drinking water and drinking water sources.
Currently, U.S. community water systems are required to monitor their drinking water multiple times per day to test for more than 90 contaminants and report any violations that may have occurred.
The Utilities Department is required to make the report available to customers by July 1.
In addition, the report shows the activities of the Utilities Department. In a message to customers, Director Jay Simonton noted that staff had a “very busy year” and completed a “much-needed” update of the five-year strategic plan, which will guide the department in “making better decisions to ensure we continue to meet our customer’s needs.”
He also pointed out that the department implemented the new “Yuma Cares” low-income assistance program last summer. The program allows customers to donate money when they pay their city utility bill to help those less fortunate.
“The program has been a big success and just shows how much our community supports those in need,” Simonton said.
The city encourages community participation through the Water and Sewer Commission, a group of citizens that develops ideas and provides advice to the utilities director on a range of water and wastewater issues. The commission meets as needed at 5 p.m. in the Department of Public Works Administrative Conference Room. The public is invited to attend.
For more information, call (928) 373-4500.