Water Quality in Tempe, Arizona
Watershed: Salt River – Tempe Town Lake
What is the water quality like in Tempe, AZ?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in Tempe water.
What’s in Tempe water?
Here are the top 6 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Radium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
- Uranium – Potential effect: Cancer
These are six of the 23 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
11 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
See the What Can You Do? section below for all of the contaminants you can filter out and how to do it.
Where does Tempe’s water come from?
Tempe’s water comes from the Salt River – Tempe Town Lake watershed.
The single EPA assessed water source in the Salt River – Tempe Town Lake watershed is in Unknown condition. This is Tempe Town Lake.
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition.
Whether a water source is in Unknown, Impaired, or Good condition refers to the quality of these uses:
- Drinking Water
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Tempe’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality can be surprising.
But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your household as well as things you can do at a community level.
In Your Household:
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out 18 of the 23 contaminants in your drinking water.
- To filter out 20 of the 23 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- 1,4-Dioxane – “Exposure may cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.”
- Arsenic – health risks
- Barium – health risks in water
- Chromium (total)
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- PFHPA – found in stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, and carpets. A version of PFOA below.
- PFOA – associated with two kinds of cancer as well as four other diseases.
- Selenium – health risks
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
*Chlorination is an effective method of disinfecting/treating drinking water. You can then use a water filter to reduce the effects of chlorination byproducts to get the safest, cleanest water possible.
In Your Community:
Contact your local government officials and put pressure on them to invest in cleaner waterways and upgraded city water filtration and treatment.
Go to: https://www.tempe.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.