Water Quality

Objective 7, maintain excellent water quality
Water Production lab testing

Objective 7: Maintain Excellent Water Quality

Relevant Standards

  • Meet or surpass drinking water regulations
  • Meet customer needs in terms of taste, odor, and consistency
  • Comprehensive knowledge of local sources of contamination
  • Broad industry knowledge of water quality issues, best practices, and future regulations
  • Ensure that reclaimed water quality meets the needs of intended use

Background

Flagstaff enjoys high quality water in part due to the fact that 70% of potable water comes from deep well aquifers. While groundwater requires little treatment, surface water passes through multiple treatment steps prior to distribution. Water from Upper Lake Mary requires more treatment than groundwater and is also more susceptible to environmental factors such as wildfires and reduced snowpack due to climate change.

Challenge/Opportunity

Due to Flagstaff’s water sources, drinking water quality is typically not a major concern. As most of Flagstaff’s water sources (wells) are located in the forest and transported into town through pipelines, water quality challenges are primarily infrastructure and environmentally related, as mentioned in Strategic Objectives 3 and 5.  Water quality for Upper Lake Mary becomes an issue due to the runoff implications of wildfire.

With groundwater wells relied upon to provide high quality water for specific neighborhoods, the need for local or proximal redundancy exists due to risk of single points of failure with a specific well. Loss of high-producing wells in strategic locations could lead to local water quality degradation in isolated neighborhoods.

Many communities are dealing with Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs), which are unregulated.  In 2013, the City Manager convened an advisory panel of national, state and local experts to help understand what CECs mean locally.  The panel determined after their five-year study that there is no evidence at the present time that the continued use of reclaimed water in Flagstaff poses undue risk to human health.  However more attention to CECs will occur when considering indirect or direct potable reuse.

Timing Concerns

Not critical from a timing perspective. Providing high-quality water is an ongoing commitment.

Water Services Strategic Plan 2025

Objective 7: Maintain Excellent

Water Quality

 

Reporting Period:

January - June 2021

 

Specific Responses

Champion & TEAM

Accomplishments

Next Steps

Maintain critical groundwater well equipment in reserve and where possible create redundancy in groundwater wells and/ or distribution lines.

Water Production Manager, Reg Compliance Manager, Wastewater Treatment Manager, Water Services Director

Tuthill #2 groundwater well was successfully drilled to 2500ft below land surface, providing additional water supply to the COF and redundancy in water production and water quality in the area

surrounding.

Determine pumping rate of well and complete a well house design

Increase its knowledge about local water quality above and beyond what is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Regulatory Compliance Manager, Water Resource Manager, Lab Supervisor

 

Will propose to council to sample treated effluent for NWRI recommended sampling tiers to inform advanced treatment conversation

Participate with research institutions on best practices for addressing CEC’s.

Regulatory Compliance Manager, Water Resource Manager, Lab Supervisor

B&C Published the Reclaimed Water Master Plan with recommendations to address CECs in reclaimed water

Work with City Council to define policy around reclaimed water quality

Improve the quality of communications, providing clear information on current and future water quality issues and concerns.

Regulatory Compliance Manager, Water Production Manager, Water Resource Manager, Director, Management Analyst

A variable frequency drive (VFD) (supplies power to motors/pumps) was replaced at the North  Reservoir Filtration Plant along with all turbidimeters that measure water quality there.  As part of     both upgrades, all communication protocols including network switches, human machine interfaces, were reconfigured and upgraded using the latest digital means and Supervisor Control and Data Aquisition (SCADA) standards. Additionally, a flowmeter was upgraded from propeller to magmeter (more precise) at the Lake Mary Well #2 groundwater well.

Tours of WWTP's delayed due to COVID-19

 

 

Water Services Strategic Plan 20252020 Accomplishments
Objective 7: Maintain Excellent Water QualityReporting Period:                January-June 2020Reporting Period:      July-December 2020
 Specific ResponsesChampion & TEAMAccomplishmentsAccomplishments Next Steps
Maintain critical groundwater well equipment in reserve and where possible create redundancy in groundwater wells and/ or distribution lines.Water Production Manager, Reg Compliance Manager, Wastewater Treatment Manager Preparing standard Procedures for well maintenance, equipment list, distribution list, create redundancy plan, build into Skill Block programReplaced the Variable Frequency Drive at Foxglenn Well, used predominantly in summer months to promote water quality.  
Increase its knowledge about local water quality above and beyond what is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).Regulatory Compliance Manager, Water Resource Manager, Lab SupervisorPreparing standard procedures for Water Quality report, and for Public outreach, research and review Safe Drinking Water rules and regs, Staff  Skill Blocks tied to level of knowledge to assure consistent compliance.All Woody Mountain Wells were sampled for non-regulatory (not required by SDWA at each well) arsenic, copper and hardness.  The Distribution system was also sampled for non-regulatory hardness and copper at various representative locations. 
Participate with research institutions on best practices for addressing CEC’s.Regulatory Compliance Manager, Water Resource Manager, Lab SupervisorCEC Committee met and did not have further recommendations.     We will re-evaluate if we proceed with Potable Reuse in the future
Nothing at this time
Improve the quality of communications, providing clear information on current and future water quality issues and concerns.Regulatory Compliance Manager, Water Production Manager, Water Resource Manager, Director, Management AnalystPublic outreach and participation - Internal communications - Develop outreach for internal programs and issues that have interest or impact the public.
Tours of WWTP's delayed due to COVID-19