Up to 300,000 gallons of water left over in the Arizona American Water Co. reservoir from a contamination scare last month falls within federal safety standards, and could be discharged into the Arizona Canal.
The private utility provides drinking water to about 1,200 Scottsdale residents and 3,500 people in Paradise Valley. Last month, those customers were forced to use bottled water for about four days after a malfunction at the company's Miller Road Treatment Facility allowed water tainted with quadruple the allowable levels of a suspected cancer-causing chemical into the drinking water supply.
On Friday, Arizona American spokesman Todd Walker said test results show water processed during the malfunction and stored in a reservoir under the treatment plant falls within the maximum federal limits for trichloroethylene, or TCE, of 5 parts per billion. Even so, that water will not be delivered to customers, he said.
There are municipal water treatment plants downstream from the contamination site - two in Phoenix and one each in Tempe, Glendale and Peoria - that treat water for use in their supplies, according to Salt River Project, which operates the canal. Mark Shaffer, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality spokesman, said Arizona American has the option of discharging treated water into the canal, provided it meets government purity guidelines.
Arizona American has taken out advertisements in local newspapers, including the Tribune, in attempt to reassure customers that potentially contaminated water consumed during the breakdown is unlikely to cause adverse health effects.