Monitoring Programs

Compliance Sampling

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the primary federal law that ensures the safety of America's drinking water. Both the EPA and ADEQ require water quality compliance sampling under the SDWA.

Every month, the Water Monitoring section takes hundreds of water samples from sites throughout the City's water distribution system to test for the presence of any possible bacteria and to also monitor for chlorine levels.

In addition, samples are routinely collected at the Water Treatment Plants and drinking water wells to insure the quality of the water before it enters the distribution system.

To view current and past Water Quality Reports, or for more information about the City's water, or Federal and State drinking water programs please visit one of the links below:


New Water Mains

The Drinking Water Monitoring section does the testing of new water mains to ensure they meet quality standard before they are allowed to carry drinking water to residents. Contractors that are installing water lines in new or existing subdivisions coordinate through the Planning and Development Department in the requesting of the test.

Chapter 37 of the City of Phoenix Code gives the Water Services Department specific authority for testing water mains. The following excerpts are provided for your review.

II Water Main Extensions & Construction Sections 30-33
XII Backflow Prevention Sec​tions 141-146

Please note these excerpts are provided as a convenience for quick review and not a substitute for the actual and entire City Code.


Customer Inquiries

The Water Monitoring section also receives inquiries from customers on the water that they receive from the City of Phoenix. Customer inquiries on general information about water service should go the Customer Service Division or call them at 602-262-6251.

Some of the more common questions asked address:

  • Taste and Odor

    View the most current Water Quality Report.

    One of the major reasons for the "musty" and "earthy" smell and taste of the water during certain times of the year is the presence of two compounds, geosmin and MIB, which are produced by a few types of blue/green algae that live in the canal system that the City uses for a drinking water source. While the actual algae are removed during treatment, sometimes the taste and odor persist. 

    Many times we receive inquiries on why the water at certain sinks has a sewer smell. Bacteria that live in drains sometimes cause this, and when water is run, it produces the sewer smell. Also partially clogged drain traps or garbage disposals often have the sewer smell, causing the water taken from the tap to seem it has the same odor. To prevent or stop this occurrence, the drains need to be periodically cleaned.

  • Hardness of the water

    The definition of hardness is the sum of the concentrations of calcium and magnesium in the water. These minerals are found in the earth's terrain that our ground and surface water comes from. The water in the City is considered to be very hard, running from about 10 to 17 grains per gallon (185 - 287 parts per million) of hardness. An addition of a water treatment device, like a softener or reverse osmosis unit, will help in reducing the hardness in your home.

    For more information on water softeners, etc., call the Arizona Water Quality Association at (480) 947-9850.

  • Evaporative Coolers

    Evaporative coolers are affected by the hardness of the water. Hardness (mainly calcium) can build up on the pad(s) and reduce the effectiveness of the cooler. A bleed-off system and a sump dump will help in stopping the accumulation on the pads.

  • Water Heaters

    Water heaters need to be regularly flushed to help prevent sediment build up on the bottom of the tank. This sediment will affect the efficiency and could shorten the life of the heater. Sometimes this sediment can come through your plumbing and be deposited on the screen of your faucet.​