Making wastewater more usable is noble … beware the deception … misdirection … less than full disclosure and transparency with which it is presented to you

…Making wastewater more usable is noble … beware the deception … misdirection … less than full disclosure and transparency with which it is presented to you…




A couple of issues to contempale when your water purveyor informs you that the treated wastewater is SAFE …

I think it is reasonable to conclude that every individual residing in or visiting Arizona wants to know and be assured that the WATER they consume is SAFE.

SAFE…???   Would it surprise you to learn that SAFE, in Arizona, is decreed by committee, most often one cloistered behind closed doors, and, NO, you do not have a seat or voice in this.

But, if you live anywhere in Arizona, you will pay- $$$ – for all the public employees, engineers, regulators, sanitarians, clerical staff, and administrative bureaucrats…to attend countless meetings.

These are meetings wherein all aspects relative to SAFE water from their perspective are thoroughly discussed.

What aspects of SAFE water, are of importance, to YOU, well, guess what…??? … Too bad, not on their agenda.

But this is Arizona where neither full disclosure nor transparency are “rights” our Governor and/or our State Legislature endorse (therefore the water regulators they control, feel you and I need not be informed).

You are undoubtedly aware the vast majority of Arizona’s population resides in Maricopa and Pima County, i.e. Phoenix and Tucson metro areas respectively … both served by water originating in the Colorado River, transported by Central Arizona Project (CAP), supplied to users by municipal water purveyors, to our faucet from which we draw the water we consume. 

The remainder of Arizona residents are served by private or small community water purveyors, and with the possible exception of those receiving water from their own private well, it is commonly presumed that the water delivered by your purveyor is SAFE.

Allow me to introduce you to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) … Under the Environmental Quality Act of 1986, the Arizona State Legislature created ADEQ in 1987 as the state’s cabinet-level environmental agency. ADEQ is composed of three environmental programs: Air Quality, Water Quality and Waste, with functional units responsible for technical, operational and policy support.

The official mission statement per ADEQ website unambiguously states … “The mission of the Water Quality Division is to protect and enhance public health and the environment by ensuring safe drinking water and reducing the impact of pollutants discharged to surface and groundwater

So, whenever you are confused as to what ADEQ is supposed to do in our in our behalf … just refer to their very specific mission statement, and determine if the actions ADEQ is currently taking, are in fact, supporting ADEQ’s specified mission.

Be aware, in Arizona, ADEQ has delegated many of its regulatory functions to each of our 15 individual county environmental health dept. or other county agency.

On our watch, our state legislature charged ADEQ to design, write, initiate, develop, disseminate in clear, concise, understandable language laws, rules, regulations on all aspects of WATER and enforce  them uniformly state wide.

Beginning with ADEQ’s inception in 1986 and continuing to 2017, there has NEVER been uniform implementation or enforcement of any rule, regulation state-wide, as each county environmental health department interprets all rules as it damn well pleases … that’s politics folks.

Enter, now that proverbial 900# gorilla .

Wrap your head around the fact that “WE”  included in ADEQ’s charge ithe additional requirement to design, write, initiate, develop, disseminate in clear, concise, understandable  language laws, rules, regulations on all aspects of WASTEWATER TREATMENT & DISPOSAL … including all residential… which includes all forms of individual on-site SEPTIC systems..

An example of what the Arizona rule making process sanctions as language deemed clear, concise, understandable  can be found at …

More comprehensive examples of sanctioned clear, concise, understandable language, to which YOU need adhere, can be found at …

I am curious to learn, should you have made the time to reference these rule sections, if you find the language clear, concise and understandable…???

I didn’t think so…!!!

In Arizona we charge ADEQ with the care, custody, control of WATER’S total life cycle … from the point where it enters our state to the point where it is discharged into our soil or returned to the waters of the United States.

Consider, this just might make achieving the goal of the MISSION STATEMENT for ADEQ a most vexing challenge …made even more so in a highly volatile political climate.

clip_image004OK… take a deep breath … chill for a moment.

… You have been presented with a lot of what likely is new information, which likely conflicts, with your understanding about the WATER you are provided and paying for.

It’s a lot to digest at one time … especially, since it likely challenges information provided to you by government.

These are some WATER fundamentals which can be of assistance to you.

·      Water has a cycle … see


·      Today, even our most technologically sophisticated wastewater treatment plants are – NOT – capable of removing all POLLUTANTS in the sewage they process.


·      Today, there are potentially more than 80,000 forms of residual chemicals, compounds in the water we consume daily.


·      These residuals include, but are not limited to…

o   Emerging (newly discovered) contaminants

o   Synthetic contaminants

o   Organic contaminants

o   Pesticides

o   Herbicides

o   Personal care products

o   Pharmaceuticals

o   Endocrines interrupters

o   Chlorine

o   Fluoride

o   To list but a mere hand full of the more than 80,000


·      To complicate matters even further

o   Currently we do not know how small an amount of most of the items listed above it takes to have a debilitating effect on human health


o   Currently, we do know, there are certain endocrine interrupters, which should they enter a woman’s body during specific points of pregnancy, have shown to have a debilitating effect on the fetus.


What makes the above relevant is to know, that the WATER that you consume, which is decreed SAFE, by committee, tests only a mere handful of these more than 80,000 chemicals found in our water – wastewater.


Might this be a form of Russian roulette…???


Contemplate this … In Arizona “WE” charge ADEQ with the care, custody, control of our WATER …then we allow the State Legislature (which we elect) to NOT sufficiently, nor adequately fund …$$$$$  to enable ADEQ to ethically  comply with its specific mission statement, for and in behalf of the citizens of Arizona.


Perhaps as some suggest, ADEQ needs to be trashed, or thoroughly remodeled … OK … but … if “WE” continue to choose to underfund and under staff, whatever we call the agency, accountable for providing SAFE water, have we accomplished anything…???


And unless – “WE” – the people – always have a seat and voice on ALL water issues … and a “last” look at all agency actions, we have only traded a headache for a stomach ache.


So there is no mistake … I am not asking you to agree with me … in fact I hope you do NOT and you make the time to prove me wrong, incorrect, ???.. please…!!!


I welcome all comments as I know I can always learn something.


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