This year’s annual water quality report has been released. The results show the Luke Air force Base potable water has been deemed safe by EPA 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.
As required by the Safe Drinking Water Act, this report is designed to provide details about where your water comes from, what it contains and how it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies. This report is a snapshot of last year’s water quality. We are committed to providing you with information because informed customers are our best allies.
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons, such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.
Where does my water come from?
Your drinking water source is groundwater supplied through wells from the West Salt River Valley sub-basin within the Phoenix Active Management Area. The water is filtered and treated with chlorine to disinfect.
In 2017, Luke AFB made connections with three off-base water providers. The water supplied by Valley, Liberty Utilities and EPCOR comes from the West Salt River Valley sub-basin, and EPCOR is a mixture of groundwater blended with surface water from Lake Pleasant.
The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. 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 from human activity.
Contaminants that may be present in source water:
• Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria that may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
• Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.
• Pesticides and herbicides that may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater 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 stormwater runoff, and septic systems.
• Radioactive contaminants that can be naturally occurring, or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, 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 contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.
How can I get involved?
Protection of drinking water is everyone’s responsibility. You can help protect your community’s drinking water source in several ways; some examples are:
• Eliminate excess use of lawn and garden fertilizers and pesticides – they contain hazardous chemicals that can reach your drinking water source
• Dispose of chemicals properly
• Organize a storm drain stenciling project with your local government or water supplier.
For more information call Staff Sgt. Michael Echeverria, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight at 623-856-7521.
For more information about contaminants and potential health effects, call the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline 800-426-4791.
Courtesy of 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight