Stimulus money to fund arsenic removal facility in Arizona

PHOENIX, AZ, June 15, 2009 -- Arizona American Water will receive funding from the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) of Arizona for the construction of an arsenic removal facility in Tubac...

Jun 19th, 2009

• ACC approves funding Tubac construction project for Arizona American Water; Federal stimulus package funds will aid compliance with U.S. EPA drinking water standards

PHOENIX, AZ, June 15, 2009 -- The Arizona Corporation Commission approved Arizona American Water loan grant application 4-0 to receive funding from the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) of Arizona.

"The ACC's favorable consideration of financing this project with federal funding is the result of combined efforts to start construction on this project and ensure our customers continue to receive high-quality drinking water, meeting EPA standards, at a reasonable cost like it should," said Joe Gross, Director of Engineering. Securing these funds was part of Arizona American Water's effort along with leadership from the town of Tubac and the Arizona Corporation Commission to mitigate the cost impact to customers of unfunded and more stringent federal requirements.

June 25th WIFA will also hold a hearing which will give final approval to the financing. The hearing will cover costs and compliance with federal funding requirements. The construction contract for the arsenic removal facility will begin Monday June 15th, 2009. Heavy construction isn't expected until late summer. It is expected that the arsenic removal facility will be in service by the end of this year.

In April, WIFA announced that residents of Tubac who receive water service from Arizona American Water will benefit from a combination of federal grants and loans. Arizona American Water applied for the full 2.3 million dollars to fund the arsenic removal facility; however, final disbursements will not be determined by WIFA until after the project is completed. The federal funds will be used by Arizona American Water to construct an arsenic removal facility in Tubac; construction is expected to begin in June. The removal facility is needed to bring local drinking water into compliance with new stringent US EPA standards for arsenic levels in drinking water. WIFA is responsible for administering funds provided to the State of Arizona from the Federal Stimulus Package for water and sewer projects.

In January of 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency reduced the amount of arsenic allowable in drinking water from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion. Arsenic is naturally occurring in the southwest and the new mandate impacted hundreds of groundwater water systems in Arizona.

Arizona American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to more than 200,000 people.

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