Yuma’s drink­ing wa­ter meets stan­dards

Qual­ity report is now avail­able on­line

Yuma Sun - - NEWS - FROM STAFF RE­PORTS

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.

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