Items Detected in Water Supplies

The city, as with other water distributors, sometimes finds detectable items within the water supply that do not violate water quality standards.

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.

Drinking Water Sources
The sources of drinking water (both tap and bottled) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. All water sources for Show Low is well water. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or humans.

Source Water Contaminants
Contaminants that may be present in source water include the following:
  • Microbial contaminates, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
  • Inorganic contaminates, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.
  • Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.
  • Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are byproducts of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.
  • Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil, gas production, and mining activities.
Additional Information
To ensure that tap water is safe, the EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminates in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health.

Did You Know
A recent article in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reported on a study conducted in Finland which confirm findings of an earlier study that the minerals that make up the hardness in water, actually decrease the rate of heart disease in people who routinely drink hard water. The article in the March 2004 issue states that there is an inverse relation between water hardness and coronary heart disease.