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Water quality report shows Carefree water quality meets federal, state standards


Tara Alatorre

CAREFREE – Carefree’s water quality meets or surpasses federal and state drinking water standards for dangerous contaminants, according to the town’s annual water quality report that was recently published.

Carefree Water Company is required to provide citizens a water quality report annually by law, and tests for over 100 substances that could be present in the town’s drinking water. This year, Carefree had zero violations for contaminates in its treated drinking water, according to the report published on the town’s website.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality require certain contaminants to remain under thresholds that the agencies set, which is measured in parts-per-billion(ppb). The Carefree Water Company conducts these tests at two entry points to the water distribution system at different intervals on an annual basis, according to Carefree’s website.

However, the lack of violations does not mean a lack of contaminates present in Carefree’s drinking water. Arsenic, barium, chromium, nitrates and uranium were found at the highest concentrations in Carefree’s treated drinking water, according to the 2017 report.

Barium was the highest concentration found, with the highest amount detected being 59 ppb, and the lowest amount being non-detectable. The highest amount of arsenic found was 7.2 ppb, with the maximum contaminate level threshold to remain in compliance being 10 ppb. All of these contaminates were likely present due to a leaching of natural deposits found in the area, and the levels found were not in any violation, according to the report.

The report also showed that zero households had lead or copper levels that were of “action level,” which is such a high concentration of contamination it warrants immediate treatment and other requirements. Lead contamination is what caused the Flint water crisis in Michigan.

Carefree’s annual water report also mentions that the eastern part of town, including the Rolling Hills and Velvet Shadows subdivisions, receive Scottsdale municipal water year-round, and residents in this area should review Scottsdale’s 2017 water quality report, which can be found online.             

If anyone would like to review the water quality report or find important links to Scottsdale’s report, it can be found online on the town’s web site or at