Tucson Water's Water Quality Laboratory ensures that the drinking water supply meets all State and Federal health standards. Your drinking water system is tested on a regular basis for the presence of microbiological, organic, and inorganic contaminants. In addition, Tucson Water monitors the levels for many substances which are not regulated but which may affect the aesthetic quality of the drinking water. The headings below will provide you with access to Tucson Water's most recently available water quality monitoring program reports. Most of these reports are updated on a monthly basis.
Tucson Water strives to provide consistent and affordable high quality water to its customers. The term "Water Quality" can mean different things to different people. Tucson Water is committed to providing water which meets every health standard, appears clear and clean, and is free of unpleasant tastes or odors.
Our primary water quality goal is to protect public health and safety. To accomplish this goal, Tucson Water thoroughly tests the water for microbiological, organic, and inorganic contaminants which may affect the health of water users.
There are numerous organisms (bacteria) with the potential to cause water borne diseases which pose an acute health risk to the public. Most of these disease-causing organisms are regulated by State and Federal agencies such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). To prevent contamination of the water supply from these known pathogens, Tucson Water maintains a minimum level of disinfectant (chlorine) throughout the drinking water distribution system. The system is sampled daily to check the level of chlorine. To confirm the water supply is protected, Tucson Water tests the drinking water at least 262 times per month for the presence of total coliforms and E. coli, called "indicator organisms." If these indicators are found, it suggests that disease-causing organisms might also be present. In these cases, Tucson Water takes immediate steps to eliminate any possible contamination. If tests reveal the presence of bacteria, the system is flushed, rechlorinated, and further samples are taken to ensure that the bacteria have been eliminated.
Organic and Inorganic Contaminants
Drinking water also is tested for the presence of naturally occurring or man-made contaminants which might have a detrimental effect on health over a lifetime of exposure. The USEPA and other agencies require public water suppliers to test for a wide variety of these constituents on a regular basis. Examples of these regulated compounds are various metals, pesticides, herbicides, industrial chemicals, and radioactive minerals. In addition, Tucson Water tests for a number of unregulated compounds as part of our efforts to ensure the quality of your drinking water.
In addition to testing at more than 175 drinking water wells and more than 200 monitoring wells which can be used to draw water quality samples from the groundwater, Tucson Water also has 250+ distribution monitoring points which are used to sample for chlorine, microbiological purity and organic and inorganic constituents.
After the water is known to be safe, we strive to ensure that it is aesthetically pleasing for drinking and other uses. Tucson Water staff routinely monitor factors such as hardness, pH, sodium, and total dissolved solids in the distribution system to ensure our water meets your satisfaction.
Water quality concerns such as taste and odor are important to us. Tucson Water responds to all reports of color, odor, or taste problems. In many cases, these occurrences are temporary and can be solved over the phone. If the situation is more complex, trained Tucson Water staff investigate the occurrence, and take whatever steps are necessary to resolve the problem.