AN AP INVESTIGATION : Pharmaceuticals Found in Drinking Water

Water tests reveal Phoenix water is drug free

PHOENIX (AP) _ After extensive testing, Phoenix officials announced the city's water supply is clean and drug free.

Tests were conducted by an independent laboratory at each of Phoenix's six water-treatment plants with the results showing no traces of drugs while meeting all standards of the Environmental Protection Agency, officials said at a news conference Monday.

"I'm pleased today to report that Phoenix tap water meets all EPA requirements and that no trace of pharmaceuticals were found in any of the tests," said Mayor Phil Gordon.

"Providing safe and healthy water to our residents is something that we do very well."

Officials decided to test the water after a series of stories by The Associated Press said that pharmaceuticals have been identified in Lake Mead's water. Some of the lake's water reaches the Phoenix area by way of the Central Arizona Project canal.

The chemicals were in tiny quantities, the AP report said.

Drugs are thought to enter the water supply after being ingested by people and passed into the sewage system. Other drugs get flushed into the system. No one knows whether exposure to small quantities of these drugs can cause problems.

The AP report also cited researchers at Arizona State University saying they had found evidence of chemicals called endocrine disruptors in the second major source of Phoenix water, the Salt River Project.

Phoenix gets most of its water from SRP and the Central Arizona Project.

Tucson, which reported finding three pharmaceuticals in its water, also gets a portion of CAP water, but it is unknown whether the drugs were in CAP water.

Phoenix has no plans to test the water again but is working with organizations that are developing testing standards for pharmaceuticals, said Ken Kroski, a water-department spokesman.


Information from: The Arizona Republic,