Arizona Water Quality: What You Need to Know


Water is a vital resource for everyone, and understanding water quality is essential for ensuring safe and healthy drinking water. In Arizona, water quality is a hot topic due to the state’s dry climate, rapid population growth, and reliance on groundwater. In this blog post, we’ll explore the basics of water quality in Arizona, including the sources of drinking water, the factors that affect water quality, and the measures in place to ensure safe water for all residents. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of water quality in Arizona and what you need to know to keep you and your family safe.

Sources of Drinking Water in Arizona

Arizona’s drinking water comes from a variety of sources, including groundwater, surface water, and reclaimed water. Groundwater is the primary source of drinking water in Arizona, accounting for about 40% of the state’s total water use. The state’s groundwater comes from aquifers, which are natural underground reservoirs of water, and wells that tap into these aquifers.

Surface water, on the other hand, comes from rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. The two major sources of surface water in Arizona are the Colorado River and the Salt River Project. The Colorado River supplies water to Arizona through the Central Arizona Project (CAP), a 336-mile-long system of aqueducts, tunnels, and pipelines that deliver water to cities and towns throughout the state. The Salt River Project provides water from the Salt and Verde rivers to the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Reclaimed water is treated wastewater that is reused for various purposes, including irrigation, industrial processes, and, in some cases, drinking water. In Arizona, reclaimed water is becoming an increasingly important source of water, especially in areas where other sources are limited.

Factors Affecting Water Quality in Arizona

There are several factors that can impact the quality of water in Arizona, including natural and human-made contaminants. Some of the key factors affecting water quality are:

  1. Geology: Arizona’s unique geology can contribute to the presence of naturally occurring contaminants in groundwater, such as arsenic and fluoride. In some areas, these contaminants can be present at levels that exceed federal drinking water standards.
  2. Agriculture: Agricultural activities, such as the use of fertilizers and pesticides, can lead to the contamination of both surface water and groundwater. Nitrates, a common contaminant from fertilizer use, can pose health risks if present in high concentrations in drinking water.
  3. Industrial activities: Industrial facilities can release contaminants into water sources through discharges, spills, and leaks. These contaminants can include heavy metals, chemicals, and other harmful substances.
  4. Urbanization: As Arizona’s population continues to grow, urbanization puts additional stress on the state’s water resources. Stormwater runoff from urban areas can carry pollutants, such as oil, grease, and chemicals, into surface water and groundwater.

Measures to Ensure Safe Drinking Water in Arizona

To protect public health and ensure the safety of drinking water in Arizona, a combination of federal, state, and local regulations and programs are in place. These measures include:

  1. Federal regulations: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets national drinking water standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). These standards establish limits for contaminants in drinking water and require water utilities to monitor and report on water quality.
  2. State regulations: The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is responsible for enforcing the SDWA and implementing state-specific water quality regulations. ADEQ conducts inspections, monitors water quality, and provides guidance and technical assistance to water utilities in Arizona.
  3. Water utility testing and treatment: Water utilities in Arizona are required to regularly test their water supplies for a range of contaminants and to treat the water to meet federal and state standards. Common water treatment methods include filtration, disinfection, and the addition of chemicals to neutralize contaminants.
  4. Source water protection: Protecting the sources of drinking water is a critical component of ensuring water quality in Arizona. This can involve measures such as land-use planning, pollution prevention, and watershed management to minimize the risk of contamination.
  5. Public education and outreach: Informing the public about water quality issues and encouraging responsible water use can play a significant role in protecting Arizona’s water resources. Many water utilities, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations offer educational programs and resources to help residents understand water quality and take steps to conserve water.

What You Can Do to Protect Water Quality in Arizona

As a resident of Arizona, there are several actions you can take to help protect water quality and ensure safe drinking water for your community:

  1. Stay informed: Keep up to date on water quality issues in your area by reading your water utility’s annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), which provides information on the quality of your drinking water and any contaminants detected. You can also check ADEQ’s website for information on water quality in your area. Pheonix Water Quality Reports, Havasu Water Quality Report (2022)
  2. Practice water conservation: Reducing water use can help protect water quality by minimizing the demand on water resources and decreasing the amount of pollutants that enter water sources. Simple actions, such as fixing leaks, using water-efficient appliances, and landscaping with native plants, can make a big difference in conserving water.
  3. Dispose of chemicals and waste properly: Properly disposing of household chemicals, motor oil, and other potentially harmful substances can help prevent them from contaminating water sources. Many communities in Arizona offer recycling and disposal programs for hazardous waste.
  4. Limit pesticide and fertilizer use: Reducing the use of pesticides and fertilizers in your yard can help protect water quality by decreasing the amount of chemicals that enter water sources. If you do use these products, be sure to follow the label instructions and avoid applying them before rainstorms.
  5. Get involved: Participate in local water quality initiatives, such as community clean-up events, watershed management programs, or water conservation campaigns. Getting involved can help you better understand water quality issues and contribute to solutions.


Understanding water quality in Arizona is crucial for ensuring the safety and health of the state’s residents. By opting for a high-quality distributor like Arizona Water Delivery, you can have peace of mind knowing that the water you and your family consume is clean, safe, and sourced responsibly. With their commitment to customer satisfaction, environmental sustainability, and reliable delivery services, Arizona Water Delivery is an excellent choice for those who value the importance of top-quality drinking water in their daily lives. Make the smart choice for your family’s health and well-being by choosing Arizona Water Delivery for your water needs.