TUCSON, Ariz. - Are there dangerous chemicals in Tucson's water?
The City of Tucson's Water utility is defending itself against a news story that says a testing mistake led to thousands of water customers getting some controversial chemicals in their tap water.
But Tucson water says customers have nothing to fear.
The chemicals called PFOS are used in firefighting foam and a wide range of synthetic products. But the chemical is able to work its way through the soil and get into water wells.
Tucson Water concedes one testing site was connected to the wrong water source and that raised questions about water leaving a specialized treatment plant and flowing to about 60 thousand households and businesses.
The Environmental Protection Agency says the chemicals may lead to birth defects, immune system problems and cancer. The EPA says "may” because research has not confirmed there's a definite threat, so instead of setting a requirement, EPA issued what it calls an advisory that recommends keeping PFOS in water below 70 parts per trillion.
Annita Clark live in a building in an area that received water from a plant that handles treated PFOS.
She's noticed eye irritation and other troubles..
“I have lost a lot of hair . This is just from today's brushing after I took my shower. That's a lot of hair.”
The director of Tucson Water says in most cases the utility is delivering water with PFOS levels too low to measure and at highest it's 30 parts per trillion, less than half the EPA advisory level.
Tim Thomure says, “The areas served by the Tucson airport remediation project water is less than 10% of our customers. Now, we don't treat those customers any different. safe water is safe water, so we wouldn't deliver it if it wasn't safe.”
And Tucson Water says it's ready to hear from anyone who wants more assurance they're getting safe water or even take them on tours of water facilities. That’s through Tucson Water’s Public Information Office at 520-791-4331.