Phoenix Water Receives Failing Grade

Feb. 14, 2007

Phoenix recently received an “F” and a last place ranking in Men’s Health Magazine for its water supply. However, officials still told AZ Central that the water is safe to drink.

The article appears in the magazine’s March issue, and places Phoenix in last place out of 100 U.S. cities that were tested for levels of lead, bacteria, haloacetic acids, coliform and trihalomethanes. The magazine also compared the system violations at water facilities from 1995 to 2005.

Cortland Coleman, communications director for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, told AZ Central that mistakes in database entry and data quality issues might have affected the city’s rating.

Megan Montenaro, public relations manager of Men’s Health, assured AZ Central that the magazine is not claiming the water is unsafe or dirty, but it just comes at the bottom of the list. For example, Phoenix water had 16.1 parts-per-billion levels of arsenic, while first place Denver did not contain any. The traces of arsenic should not cause a health risk, as long as they align with EPA standards.

Denver was ranked number 1 in the magazine, and given an “A” rating. Los Angeles was ranked 97th with an “F” rating, while New York received a “B”, coming in at number 37.

Source: AZ Central