The vast majority of residents in Maricopa County get their drinking water through huge municipal or public utility water delivery systems. The Drinking Water Program strives to guarantee that the water provided by these public water systems is safe and healthful, and that it fulfills federal and state regulations.
However, just like any other commodity, water can contain harmful bacteria or other organisms. If you are concerned about the safety of your water, it's best to follow these tips:
Avoid drinking water from unknown sources. If you are not sure where your water comes from, then it might be better if you didn't drink it. Chlorine, which is used to treat most community water supplies to make them safer for consumption without causing tooth decay, also kills many bacteria, so there is no way to ensure that your water is free of contamination.
Don't use water that has been stored for long periods of time. The more times a bottle of water is opened, the less healthy it will be for you to drink. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot drink it immediately, then don't pour extra cold water into it because this will only prolong the time before it is safe to drink.
Don't use water that has been frozen. Most ice cubes made with tap water are still fairly fresh, but those made with well water may contain higher levels of minerals due to natural differences between underground reservoirs.
Maricopa County gets its water from three main sources. Water treatment facilities handle surface water from the Salt River Project or the Central Arizona Project. Wells extract ground water from aquifers. Rainfall flows into lakes and streams, which are then captured by the county's network of dams and reservoirs.
The majority of Maricopa County is served by the Salt River Project, which collects water from the Salt River just east of Phoenix. The river runs through downtown Phoenix before it reaches the ocean. The CAP collects runoff from the Colorado River Basin, which includes parts of seven states from California to Texas. The CAP delivers most of its water to eastern Arizona and southern Nevada. A small portion of northern Maricopa County receives its water from the CAP but lies outside its delivery zone.
Water supplies in Maricopa County are stable now but that could change if climate change causes serious drought conditions or if more people move to the area. Climate change will likely lead to longer periods of drought and higher temperatures which could be harmful to the ecosystem of the desert region.
Groundwater is extracted from deep within the earth using wells. This type of water is not safe for drinking without treatment because of possible contamination from chemicals used in farming or from heavy metals in the soil.
The Southeastern Oakland County Water Authority and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department are both proud of the high quality of drinking water they supply. The drinking water supplied by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department meets or exceeds all federal and state drinking water regulations. It is treated at more than 30 facilities across the city before it is delivered to customers.
In addition to being potable (safe to drink), the water is also used for industrial purposes, such as making glass, and for cooling equipment at many factories. In fact, water from the Detroit River is used to make half of the steel in this country. That's why it's so important that we take care of our local environment by reducing pollution in the river.
There have been some reports of people with skin problems coming into contact with the water while swimming or fishing and reporting rashes or other symptoms later. This may be due to contamination from chemicals used to protect against corrosion during transportation on bulk carriers from areas where water is polluted by industry. These ships transport oil products, coal, and grain across the ocean. They usually travel under their own power but can also use diesel engines if needed. Because they travel across national boundaries, there are no mandatory limits on pollutants that could enter the water. However, because of the risk of contamination, swimmers are advised not to swim in the river or other bodies of water within 50 miles of its source.