Flagstaff Returns To Lake Mary Water Supply 5 Months After Contamination

Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 3:54pm
(Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service)
Lake Mary in northern Arizona.

After five long months, Flagstaff is ready to use Lake Mary water once again.

The water treatment center had to shut down the use of the reservoir due to contamination in October of last year. The contamination was a result of decomposed plants and fish waste combining with the chlorine used to treat the water.

The contaminated water was found to contain haleoacetic acids because of the way the water was treated, which in high concetrations over many years can increase the risk of getting cancer.

The city has switched to a safer mixture of chlorine dioxide, allowing Lake Mary water to be used in Flagstaff’s system as of Tuesday.

Thomas Bolyen, water production manager at the Lake Mary Water Treatment Plant, said this is good for more than one reason.

“We’ll be able to utilize that resource which is a much more cost effective water supply than pumping it from deep underground,” he said.

Flagstaff saw little effect during the time the reservoir was shut down because there is less demand for water during the winter months. The water for the city is tested on a regular and constent basis and no haleoacetic acids were found in the most recent water samples.

If you like this story, Donate Now!

Like Arizona Science Desk on Facebook