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Frequently Asked Questions

Drinking Water​


Is Phoenix’s tap water safe?

Phoenix water meets or exceeds all federal and state requirements for health and safety. More than five million tests and measurements are performed each year in the water treatment and distribution systems. Phoenix’s state of the art equipment and laboratories are used to test for more than 100 substances. Be assured that if water quality is ever an issue in Phoenix, customers will be notified.

Why do I sometimes notice taste or odor in Phoenix’s water?

Taste or odor variations in Phoenix’s tap water supply are often seasonal (stronger near fall of the year) and come from minerals and algae that collect in the canals that transport our surface water along to Phoenix’s water treatment plants. The chlorine used in the treatment process to disinfect your water before it reaches your tap also can make our water’s taste and odor stronger. The algae is removed during the treatment process, but much like a bouquet of roses that has not been in a room for hours, you still may be able to smell it. Taste and odor are aesthetic issues in Phoenix water.

Does the taste or odor mean my water is unsafe?

Phoenix tap water meets or surpasses all regulatory requirements for health and safety. Over five million tests and measurements are performed each year throughout the treatment and distribution systems and analyzed using state of the art equipment and laboratories. Phoenix also submits hundreds of reports each year to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department.

What does Phoenix use to disinfect the water that reaches my tap?

Phoenix’s entire water supply is safely disinfected with chlorine before being delivered to consumers. Using chlorine in water is one of the most widely used methods to safeguard drinking water. (Federal law requires a minimum chlorine disinfectant level of 0.2 parts per million in the water leaving a water treatment plant. However, Phoenix adds between 1 and 2 parts per million to ensure our water’s safety throughout the distribution system.) We also incorporate some of the most advanced water treatment processes available to ensure your water is safe to drink.

​How can I improve the taste and odor of my water?

To improve taste and odor place a slice of lemon in your water, leave a container of water uncapped for 30-60 minutes and place it in the refrigerator, or use a filter on your faucet or refrigerator. (Be sure to change filters according to manufacturer’s instructions.)

What is Phoenix doing to help improve the taste of our water?

Phoenix understands that perceptions about taste and odor vary – so Phoenix continues to improve the aesthetics of our water, even though the quality is extremely high, by using carbon during treatment, highly advanced water monitoring and sampling techniques, blending of Central Arizona Project and Salt River Project water, and canal brushing by SRP to diminish taste and odor causing algae.

Why is my tap water hard?

The presence of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which originate from the soils our source water contacts as it travels to Phoenix’s water treatment plants, contribute to hardness.

Do I need to use water filters or softeners at home to make my water safe?

Since Phoenix water meets or exceeds federal, state and local water quality standards, water filters are typically not necessary unless advised by your physician or desired as a personal choice. If you choose to use filters or softeners be sure to follow manufacturers’ maintenance instructions.


For Additional information and questions visit the Water Departments Frequently Asked Questions Page.




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