Arsenic in Drinking Water
The city of Surprise is committed to providing safe, clean water to city water customers. Part of our service to you is keeping you informed. This site is designed to help you understand the issue of arsenic.
What is arsenic?
Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment and as a by-product of some agriculture and industrial activities. The occurrence of arsenic in water supplies is not unusual in Arizona.
Acceptable arsenic levels are determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, a branch of the federal government.
The federal standard was changed to 0.010 mg/L (10 ppb) or in 2001. The EPA equates this with a few drops in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The previous standard was 0.050 mg/L (50 ppb).
Is Surprise Drinking Water safe?
Yes. As determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), water coming from city-owned water facilities does not pose an unreasonable risk to public health. For more information about drinking water and arsenic, please visit the EPA’s Web site.
What is the federal standard for arsenic in drinking water?
The federal standard was changed in 2001 to 0.010 mg/L (10 ppb). The EPA equates this with a few drops in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The previous standard was 0.050 mg/L (50 ppb).
What is Surprise doing to comply with the new arsenic standard?
Arsenic levels that exceed the new standard are being addressed by the City of Surprise through construction of coagulation/filtration arsenic treatment facilities.
The arsenic treatment facilities (ATF) treat water from the groundwater wells to reduce the natural-occurring arsenic levels. The treatment currently being used is called coagulation and filtration. With this process the water coming from the wells has chemical added to it to form particles that are then sent through a series of filters, removing the arsenic. The filters become dirty and they are backwashed and the reject water is sent to settling tanks to settle out, and the settled sludge is taken to the landfill as non-hazardous waste for proper disposal. Once the treated water meets the federal arsenic standard, then it is safe for consumption.
The city of Surprise Systems
The City of Surprise Desert Oasis Public Water System PWS#07-523 meets all State and Federal drinking water requirements.
The City of Surprise Mountain Vista Public Water System PWS#07-500 meets all State and Federal drinking water requirements.
Permanent arsenic treatment facilities will be in place at Mountain Vista by August 2009.
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