Valley's Water Supply Not At Risk Like Toledo's

August 08, 2014

Last weekend’s toxic algal outbreak in Lake Erie crippled the city of Toledo, leaving residents without water access for three days. Could that happen in Phoenix?

Though the Toledo water system is now back to normal, agricultural run-off of excessive phosphates and nitrates, are seen as the cause.

Fortunately, Arizona does not share the volume of agricultural land as the upper Midwest.

However, algal blooms and some toxins, such as the microcystins found in Lake Erie’s algae cells, naturally occur in Arizona’s reservoir and canal systems. But because of frequent testing and treatment of Valley water, along with low agricultural activity upstream of the reservoirs, chances of harmful algal toxin levels are nearly non-existent.

Water quality specialists from Arizona State University recommend Valley residents and companies be mindful of using excessive fertilizers and pesticides.

They can still contaminate ground water further along the Salt River watershed in the West Valley, though that water is also extensively treated.