Phoenix AZ Water Treatment Tips You Can’t Live Without
As an Arizonan, you know how scorching summers get and the importance of always having readily available water to drink. Thanks to the City of Phoenix, water is distributed to the taps of homes across the valley, ensuring you and every Arizonan maintain your hygiene and hydration. But despite this constant supply of water, you probably don’t drink straight from your tap too often, do you? That’s why we’re here to provide you with Phoenix AZ water treatment tips to help you on your way to luxurious, quality water.
Can you drink Phoenix tap water?
Before your water reaches your home’s tap, the City of Phoenix Water Services Department processes your water through its five water treatment plants, treating your water to remove potentially hazardous pollutants according to standards set by federal and state regulations.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the amount allowed for specific contaminants in publicly distributed water, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does the same for bottled water.
All these water filtration systems and regulations prove you’re right – water isn’t naturally clean.
The water you drink is received from many sources, including rivers, lakes, streams, springs, and wells. According to the City of Phoenix’s 2019 Water Quality Report, “about 97-99 percent of Phoenix’s water came from surface water that mostly started as snow pack.” The Salt, Verde, and Colorado rivers are Phoenix’s major sources of untreated surface water, while some is received from the Agua Fria River.
The rest of your drinking water comes from the City of Phoenix’s very own 20 groundwater wells.
Given the many sources from which you receive your water, plenty of contaminants naturally make their way inside, be it from animals, minerals, or humans, and is the very reason why your water is filtered in the first place.
But even with all this water treatment, is Phoenix tap water safe?
Contaminants found in water sources include:
- Microbial contaminants: virus and bacteria originating from wastewater treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, or wildlife
- Inorganic contaminants: includes salts and metals resulting from urban storm runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming
- Pesticides and herbicides: from agricultural or residential use, and urban storm runoff
- Organic chemical contaminants: industrial byproducts such as synthetic and volatile organic chemicals during processes like petroleum production, gas stations, septic systems, and urban storm water runoff
- Radioactive contaminants: natural or industrial byproducts of oil and gas production and mining
But as the City of Phoenix monitors a wide range of contaminants in your water, there are as many as “up to 30 unregulated substances” monitored and reported to the EPA, a list updated every five years. This is in case any of these substances become a significant enough concern to begin regulating in your water.
Phoenix filters its water supply through treatment facilities using chlorine as a disinfectant before distributing it to your tap. In fact, there’s a federally determined minimum amount of chlorine disinfectant required in your water before it leaves any water treatment plant, as well as a maximum allowed as it reaches your tap.
Although chlorine is good for killing bacteria, some minor negative effects may include spoiling the taste of your water and drying out your skin and hair.
Using disinfectants such as chlorine also creates disinfection byproducts (DBPs), “which are formed when natural organic matter in water reacts with chemicals used for disinfection.”
DBPs formed from chlorine include Trihalomethanes (THMs) and Haloacetic Acids (HAAs), both of which may have long-term health effects depending on their levels in your water.
To combat DBPs in your water, natural organic matter, such as total organic carbon (TOC), is removed during the filtration process at water treatment plants to reduce formation of DBPs throughout the city’s water distribution system.
And Phoenix is at its lowest running annual average of TOC as of 2019’s Water Quality Report.
Other chemicals used as disinfectants or oxidants include chlorine dioxide and ozone, which form their own DBPs which also require regulation – chlorine dioxide forming chlorite and ozone forming bromate.
DBPs must be regularly monitored by sampling water throughout Phoenix’s distribution system to give you relatively clean water safe enough to use and drink.
What is the water hardness in Phoenix AZ?
Water hardness refers to the amount of natural minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, floating within the Phoenix water system, and ultimately coming into your own home plumbing. Although they are harmless to you, they can cause major problems for your plumbing, like scaling within your pipes, appliances, and fixtures. For instance, scaling can cause blockages in your pipes and deplete the capacity of your water heater.
Water hardness isn’t regulated under health standards such as contaminants and disinfectants, which is why many homeowners have water filtration and softening systems, like a reverse-osmosis system, installed to combat hard water.
In 2019, the City of Phoenix reported samples of total dissolved solids (TDS) ranging much higher – up to 816 parts per million (ppm) – than the recommended max amount of 500 ppm. Samples taken to measure total hardness of Phoenix water ranged from 170-284 ppm, with no recommended max whatsoever.
How to purify Phoenix water
For what remains in your water when it reaches your home, water filtration systems, water softeners, and water conditioners are used to further purify and treat your water.
Whole-house filtration systems connect to your main water supply line, filtering all water throughout your home, including what comes through your faucets, like your shower, and all your plumbing appliances, such as your washing machine and dishwasher.
A reverse osmosis system is quite similar, but instead uses a semi-impermeable membrane to remove contaminants from your water, giving you quality comparable to bottled water. RO systems are good for removing chlorine and hard minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Smaller options for water filtration include sink water filters – installed directly under your sink – but only filter what comes out of that specific faucet. You can also get filters that attach directly to the faucet or sit on your countertop near the sink.
Phoenix AZ Water Treatment at Deer Valley Plumbing
Deer Valley Plumbing has been fighting hard Phoenix water since 1989 and offers everything you need for the purification of your home’s water system. Our licensed plumbers can install any type of filtration system you choose, from whole house filtration systems like a reverse osmosis system, water softeners, to water conditioners. We have plenty of options to work with your budget, so there’s no excuse why you can’t have quality water in your home!
We even offer same-day plumbing services.
Wait no longer for quality water flowing through your faucets!