Residents warned about water in San Tan Valley

Posted at 11:46 AM, Apr 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-26 22:31:40-04

Residents in San Tan Valley are being warned about the tap water again.

Johnson Utilities sent a letter to residents warning them of high levels of nitrate in parts of the Copper Basin subdivision.

According to the letter, water samples were collected on April 11 and April 24 and showed nitrate levels of 12mg/L and 12.2mg/L at the Bella Vista Water Plant. The nitrate standard is 10mg/L.

Johnson Utilities is telling residents that infants who drink water with high levels of nitrate could be at risk of "blue baby syndrome." Infants could become seriously ill and may even die. 

According to an Arizona Department of Environmental Quality spokesperson, Johnson Utilities learned that water in Pinal County contains high levels of nitrate through the Monitoring Assistance Program. Nitrate in water can come from natural, industrial or agriculture sources, including septic systems run-off.

Residents should not use the water to make infant formula or make any type of food for infants.

The Florence Unified School District has shut off water to Copper Basin K-8 school and is asking parents to bring in water donations through the remainder of the week. District leaders say this is a precautionary measure.

"Why isn't Johnson utilities pulling up to the school with a truck with bottled water in it right to that school?" said Stephen Milobar, a local resident. “Why isn't there a truck parked at YMCA right now for us to get a case of water?"

Johnson Utilities is warning residents that they should not boil the water because nitrates remain when the water evaporates.

According to Johnson Utilities, the affected well was already offline when they informed by ADEQ about the nitrate results.

The subdivision will continue to be serviced water from the Main Yard. 

Some people that live in the area are concerned that people sick at home may have been connected to the water.

"My three week old daughter has been sick,” said Chris Wilkins.  “She's been in the hospital for the last three days."