Johnson Utilities lifts drinking water warning

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Johnson Utilities (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Johnson Utilities (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Johnson Utilities has lifted its drinking water warning.

Earlier this week a warning was issued about higher than normal nitrate levels in its drinking water.

[READ MORE: Johnson Utilities issues drinking water warning]

According to a press release sent out Friday, June 30, 2017.

Johnson Utilities received certified lab results showing nitrate levels at 8.87 mg/L which is below the regulatory maximum contaminant level of 10 mg/L. Johnson Utilities, LLC hereby lifts its drinking water warning that had been previously issued on June 28, 2017, for the Johnson Ranch, Copper Basin, Rancho Bella Vista, and Rancho Bella Vista South subdivisions. The current issue was remedied by taking the offending well offline. Johnson Utilities, LLC has begun surveying and engineering to construct a large water transmission main to bring good quality water from the northeast part of its water system at sufficient quantities into the Main Yard pressure zone (EPDS001). This five-mile water main will provide a long-term solution to the nitrate issue at this Entry Point into the Distribution System. Johnson Utilities, LLC wants to extend its gratitude and appreciation for the understanding and cooperation of those customers affected by the Drinking Water Warning. Your feedback on the voluntary distribution of bottled water by Johnson Utilities, LLC was overwhelmingly positive."

On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, Johnson Utilities sent out the following warning about its drinking water:

The company reportedly received certified lab results Tuesday 6/27/17, that showed nitrate levels of 11 mg/L.

This is above the nitrate standard, or maximum contaminant level (MCL), of 10 mg/L.

Nitrate in drinking water is a serious health concern for infants less than 6 months old.

Nitrate in drinking water can come from natural, industrial, or agricultural sources (including septic systems and run-off). Levels of nitrate in drinking water can vary throughout the year.

The attached DRINKING WATER WARNING is being issued pursuant to public notification requirements of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

DRINKING WATER WARNING

Johnson Utilities, LLC water has high levels of nitrate in its Main Yard Pressure Zone (EPDS001) –

DO NOT GIVE THE WATER TO INFANTS UNDER 6 MONTHS OLD OR USE IT TO MAKE INFANT FORMULA

Water sample results received 6/27/17 showed nitrate levels of 11 mg/L. Previous samples collected on 10/27/16 and 11/21/16 showed nitrate levels of 12 mg/L and 11.4 mg/L, respectively. This is above the nitrate standard, or maximum contaminant level (MCL), of 10 mg/L. Nitrate in drinking water is a serious health concern for infants less than six months old.

Nitrate in drinking water can come from natural, industrial, or agricultural sources (including septic systems and run-off). Levels of nitrate in drinking water can vary throughout the year.


What does this mean?

  •  DO NOT GIVE THE WATER TO INFANTS. Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome. Blue baby syndrome is indicated by blueness of the skin. Symptoms in infants can develop rapidly, with health deteriorating over a period of days. If symptoms occur, seek medical attention immediately.
  •  Water, juice, and formula for children under six months of age should not be prepared with tap water. Bottled water or other water low in nitrates should be used for infants until further notice.
  •  DO NOT BOIL THE WATER. Boiling, freezing, filtering, or letting water stand does not reduce the nitrate level. Excessive boiling can make the nitrates more concentrated because nitrates remain behind when the water evaporates.
  •  Adults and children older than six months can drink the tap water (nitrate is a concern for infants because they can’t process nitrates in the same way adults can). However, if you are pregnant or have specific health concerns, you may wish to consult your doctor.

What is being done?

Johnson Utilities, LLC has removed the offending well from service. Johnson Utilities, LLC will continue to perform testing on the wells contributing to this Entry Point into the Distribution System, and to provide to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality quarterly compliance samples for nitrates at the Main Yard Pressure Zone (EDPS001). Johnson Utilities, LLC anticipates resolving this problem by 06/30/2017. As a long-term solution, construction drawings are in the engineering/design process to construct a 4-mile pipeline to bring good quality water from the northeast part of the system to the Main Yard pressure zone.

Johnson Utilities has also since offered to issue cases of water to affected families of infant children and pregnant women. 

[RELATED: ADEQ: High nitrate levels found in Pinal Co. water; Johnson Utilities says water is safe]

[RELATED: Ex-AZ Corp. Commissioner, owner of Johnson Utilities indicted on bribery charges]

[RELATED: Johnson Utilities faces allegations from ADEQ after E. coli scare]

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