• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018
High Nitrates Found in Copper Basin Subdivision Water Supply

High Nitrates Found in Copper Basin Subdivision Water Supply

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Johnson Utilities water has high levels of nitrate in portions of the Copper Basin Subdivision.


Water sample  results collected 04/11/2017 showed nitrate levels of 12 mg/L and 12.2 mg/L respectively at its Bella Vista Water Plant (EPDS011).  This is above the nitrate standard, or maximum contaminant level (MCL), of 10 mg/l.  Nitrate in drinking water is a serious health concern for infants less than six months old.

Nitrate in drinking water can come from natural, industrial, or agricualtural sources (including septic systems and run-off).  Levels of nitrate in drinking water can vary throughout the year.

What should I do?  What does this mean?

  • DO NOT GIVE THE WATER TO INFANTS.  Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die.  Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome.  Blue baby syndrome is indicated by blueness of the skin.  Symptoms in infants can develop rapidly, with health deteriorating over a period of days.  If symptoms occur, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Water, juice, and formula for children under six months of age should not be prepared with tap water.  Bottled water or other water low in nitrates should be used for infants until further notice.
  • DO NOT BOIL THE WATER.  Boiling, freezing, filtering or letting water stand does not reduce the nitrate level.  Excessive boiling can make the nitrates more concentrated, because nitrates remain behind when the water evaporates.
  • Adults and children older than six months can drink the tap water (nitrate is a concern for infants because they can't process the nitrates in the same way adults can).  However, if you are pregnant or have specific health concerns, you may wish to consult your doctor.

What is being  done?

The affected well was already offline when Johnson Utilities was informed by ADEQ at 8:00am on 04/24/2017 that the nitrate testing results sampled by their contractor exceeded the MCL. The well in question has been offline since Friday, April 21, 2017 and will remain out of service until alternate solutions can be developed.  Typically, this well is used to supplement peak consumption demands in portions of the Copper Basin subdivision during the morning peak hours between 6:00am to 9:00am.  The Copper Basin subdivision will continued to be serviced water from its normal source of supply, the Main Yard.

The Florence Unified School District has shut off water to Copper Basin K-8 school and is asking parents to bring in water donations through the remainder of the week. District leaders say this is a precautionary measure.


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