Tucson Water Preparing for Temporary Conversion to Groundwater System
Tucson Water is preparing to temporarily convert to groundwater wells to provide water service to customers. The conversion will take place starting Friday, October 2, 2020 and is scheduled to continue until Wednesday, November 7, 2020. The change in water sources is a result of a scheduled maintenance shutdown of the Central Arizona Project system.
Tucson Water uses renewable water supplies from the Colorado River, to meet customer demands. The water is delivered using infrastructure operated by the Central Arizona Project (CAP). The CAP annually shuts down portions of its system as part of its maintenance program.
Tucson Water crews and contractors will also use this time to undertake inspections and conduct repairs to segments of a 96” pipeline running along Starr Pass Boulevard and San Marcos Boulevard. In order to complete this work, the pipe segment originating at the Clearwell Reservoir located in the Starr Pass area will be required to be drained into the Santa Cruz River at 26th Street. Draining of the pipe is expected to start on Friday, October 2, 2020, and be completed by Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Tucson Water will temporarily discontinue discharges of recycled water at the Santa Cruz River Heritage Project during the time that the 96” pipe is being drained, allowing for continuous flow in the river channel during this phase of the work. Discharges of recycled water will resume once the 96” pipe has been drained.
The temporary shutdown of the CAP system will not affect the ability of Tucson Water to deliver water. While the main transmission pipeline that delivers most of the water into the community will be taken out of service during this period, Tucson Water operates several well fields that are independent of CAP infrastructure.
To prepare for the transition to groundwater wells, Tucson Water crews have been flushing inactive wells to clear any sediments, such as silt and sand particles, that may have accumulated while they were out of service. Some areas within the distribution pipe network may also be flushed at fire hydrants, as sediments can accumulate in pipes over time.
Tucson Water customers should not experience interruptions in water service. However, it is possible that customers might experience sediments flushing through their pipes, or air bubbles, giving the water a white, milky appearance. It should be noted that either sediments or entrained air bubbles in water do not present a health risk.
While measures are being taken avoid these types of problems, customers are advised to flush their water lines at a spigot closest to their water meter if they detect dirty or milky water. If the problem persists, customers are asked to contact Tucson Water’s Water Quality Customer Support Unit at (520) 791-5945 during normal business hours, or at the emergency line at (520) 791-4133 all other times.
Tucson Water maintains current information on water outages and advisories at www.tucsonaz.gov/water/outages, and posts updates on major outages on Twitter.