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Tucson Water refutes claims of contaminated water

TUCSON — The Advanced Oxidation Process water treatment at I-19 and Irvington Rd. delivers water to many Tucsonans living in parts of midtown and downtown.

A recent report claims the groundwater here is contaminated with worrisome levels of cancer-causing chemicals known as perfluorinated chemicals or PFCs.

But, according to Tucson Water, that’s not the case.

“I would tell the residents of all of that area and all Tucson residents your water is safe, it’s safe for drinking, for cooking for bathing for all the normal uses you have for it,” Tim Thomure, the Director of Tucson Water said.

Levels of PFCs commonly used in firefighting foam were found in the water, but Tucson Water said the amount is far below national health advisory levels.

City Councilman Steve Kozachik believes in order to make a true difference in the water system, the city needs to go after the cause of the problem. Kozachik argues that’s the chemical manufacturer — 3M.

“They have had guilty knowledge for decades,” Kozachik said. “They knew they were putting a toxic substance out into the marketplace.”

Kozachik hopes a lawsuit and a win in court would mean new facilities and a new water outlook across Tucson.

“You’re going to come in and build us treatment plants, you’re going to come into to pay for loss of capacity for the wells that we had to shut down, and you’re going to pay for the operation going forward,” he said. Will it be 10s of millions of dollars? Yes, it will. That’s not our problem that their problem.”


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