Arsenic and Mesa's Water
Your water contains low levels of naturally occurring arsenic,
but is in full compliance with current Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) standards. The EPA has set a new standard for
arsenic at 10 parts per billion (ppb) to better protect
consumers against the effects of long-term, chronic exposure to
arsenic in drinking water.
The new standard applies to all 54,000 community water
systems. A community water system is a system that serves 15
locations or 25 residents year-round, including most cities and
towns, apartments, and mobile home parks with their own water
supplies. The City of Mesa is evaluating several technologies
for reducing arsenic concentrations.
Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks, soil, water, air,
plants, and animals. It can be further released into the
environment through natural activities such as volcanic action,
erosion of rocks, forest fires, or through human actions.
Approximately 90 percent of industrial arsenic in the U.S. is
currently used as a wood preservative, but arsenic is also used
in paints, dyes, metals, drugs, soaps, and semi-conductors.
Agricultural applications, mining, and smelting also contribute
to arsenic releases in the environment.
Higher levels of arsenic tend to be found more in ground
water sources (well water) than in surface water sources (i.e.,
lakes and rivers). Compared to the rest of the United States,
western states, including Arizona, have more systems with
arsenic levels greater than 10 ppb. Arsenic levels in Mesa's 38
wells range from 4 - 33 ppb.
For more information about Arsenic
Contact Jen Hetherington, Regulatory Compliance Program Manager, 480-644-3890
EPA Arsenic Rule Fact Sheet