Scottsdale’s municipal water system, which includes water pumped and treated from a contaminated underground aquifer, continues to meet safety standards for drinking, city officials said Monday.
The water delivered to customers of the city water system in 2007 met or surpassed all federal and state standards, according to the city’s 2008 Annual Water Quality Report. The report will be mailed to more than 100,000 customers in June.
It will contain the results of the city’s intensive water testing efforts, city spokesman Pat Dodds said in a statement Monday.
“Scottsdale conducts more than 20,000 individual tests for water quality each year,” Dodds wrote. “It confirms that the city’s award-winning water system continues to produce water that meets or exceeds state and federal standards.”
A portion of Scottsdale’s water supply is pumped and treated from the North Indian Bend Wash Superfund site, a federally listed toxic waste site, wherein groundwater beneath a vast swath of south Scottsdale is contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE — a suspected carcinogen.
The practice of treating contaminated water and blending it into drinking water supplies has been scrutinized in recent months after two chemical spills at the Miller Road Treatment Facility in Scottsdale, owned and operated by private utility Arizona American Water Co.
The private utility serves about 12,000 people in portions of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.
Arizona American customers may have been exposed to TCE levels on Jan. 16 at quadruple the maximum allowable limit because of a mechanical breakdown at the company’s Miller Road treatment plant.
The company had a previous TCE problem in October, but at the time officials said the tainted water was blended with TCE-free water, lowering concentrations to within federal limits.
Scottsdale officials have stressed that the city’s system, which pumps and treats contaminated water to drinking water standards at the Central Groundwater Treatment Facility at Pima and Thomas roads, is not connected to the Arizona American system and has had no problems with TCE leaks.
Since Arizona American’s two recent contamination scares, the company has disconnected the main contaminated well from it’s drinking water system.
Scottsdale officials are considering ways to ensure safe drinking water for Arizona American customers, with options including working more closely with company or having the city condemn and take over Arizona American’s local system.