* Thurs, March 6, 6:30 pm at City Hall *
Water Works Part IV
Flagstaff Water Quality Panel
with Kevin Burke, Abe Springer, Cathy Propper, Brad Hill, and Corky Kladnik - moderated by Bryan Bates
For the fourth and final event in the Water Works series, a panel of water experts and local officials will share their knowledge and perspectives on the quality of Flagstaff’s water supply.
The City of Flagstaff is held to federal standards for the quality of its drinking water and monitors for chemicals that are considered hazardous when consumed in large quantities.
Flagstaff’s A-plus “purple pipe” recycled water, which accounts for 20% of the community’s water use, requires less treatment than drinking water. It is used year-round in local manufacturing and is in heavy demand for irrigation during the summer months.
There is less demand for recycled water during the winter, when two-thirds of the discharge from the Rio de Flag Wastewater Treatment Plant flows into the Rio. Some of this water eventually finds its way into groundwater that supplies some of the city's drinking water wells.
Although not required to do so, the city tests its drinking water for unregulated contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and hormones, some of which have been shown to alter growth patterns in amphibians. Small traces of some of these contaminants have been found in wells downstream of the treatment plant.
Flagstaff City Manager Kevin Burke, who will be on the March 6 panel, in 2012 created an advisory panel specifically charged with looking at the impacts on human health of unregulated contaminants, including those that have been detected in Flagstaff’s downstream wells.
The panel’s interim report, released in 2013, recommended that the city consider additional treatment to its drinking water that would go much further in removing contaminants now found in levels of parts per billion and even parts per trillion.
Also appearing on the March 6 public panel will be:
- Brad Hill, city of Flagstaff Utilities Director, who gave an excellent introduction to the top ic of water quality in his Water Works, Part 3 presentation (see below for link);
- Abe Springer, professor of hydrogeology at NAU, who studies local and regional groundwater flow systems and human impacts on them;
- Cathy Propper, professor of biology at NAU, and an expert in how environmental contaminants may act as endocrine disruptors to affect development and adult physiological function; and
- Corky Kladnik - an expert on water treatment technologies, especially forward and reverse osmosis, and a member of the Friends of Flagstaff’s Future Water Quality Action Team.
The panel discussion will be moderated by Bryan Bates, professor of environmental sciences at Coconino Community College.Many thanks to Friends of Flagstaff's Future for co-sponsoring this important event!
Army Corps of Engineers OKs $1.6 million for Rio de Flag flood control project
Arizona Daily Sun • March 6, 2014 • by Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
The Army Corps of Engineers has included $1.6 million in this year’s work plan to complete repairs on the faulty Clay Avenue Detention Basin in Flagstaff.
The basin is a key part of the Rio de Flag flood control project, which still needs more than $50 million in funding to complete.
Councilmember Scott Overton said he was pleased to hear about the funding.
“We’re thankful for what we can get. It’s obvious that we’re still on their radar,” he said.
The money should be enough to finish the repairs to the basin, Overton said.
“We will have to continue to work on getting the rest of it completed. It’s a challenging project to fund,” he said.
The basin was one of several Rio de Flag items city officials discussed with federal officials and representatives during a trip to Washington, D.C., last week. (read more...)
Give flood control projects flexibility
Arizona Daily Sun Editorial • March 5, 2014
When it comes to flooding in and around Flagstaff, not all flood control is created equal.
That statement has come home to roost in recent weeks as both the city of Flagstaff and Coconino County have tackled in different ways flood threats present and future.
The most pressing is the continuing danger to health and safety posed by runoff from the Schultz fire four years high up on the eastern slopes of the San Francisco Peaks.
Then there is the near-term threat to property and drinking water supplies were a similar catastrophic fire to strike the Dry Lake Hills or the Mormon Mountain watersheds.
And in the future, were a so-called “100-year flood” to strike, Flagstaff’s Rio de Flag would not be able to handle the runoff, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to property primarily in the Southside and at NAU. (read more...)
DC delegation returns with hope but no cash
Arizona Daily Sun • March 4, 2014 • by Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
The Flagstaff City Council’s annual trip to Washington, D.C. didn’t net the city any additional money for the Rio de Flag or forest thinning.
But Mayor Jerry Nabours and Scott Overton said they did have some good conversations while they were there and the projects are moving forward. City Manager Kevin Burke and councilmembers Coral Evans and Mark Woodson also made the trip.
“We certainly didn’t come home with any checks, but we did meet with some very high officials in the Corps of Engineers and the Forest Service,” Nabours said. (read more...)
View presentations from Water Works Part I ("Origins), Part II ("Our Water Future"), and Part III ("Water Reuse").
Thursday February 6 Public Meeting
* 7:00 pm at City Hall *
Flagstaff Water Works Part III
with City of Flagstaff Utilities Director Brad Hill
The City of Flagstaff is one of the state's leaders in water reclamation, and the Rio de Flag plays an important role.
Utilities Director Brad Hill will help us understand the history and importance of reclaimed water, how it is used in Flagstaff, how it contributes to our water conservation efforts, and how it provides resiliency in the face of future climate change.
Brad will also explain the history and operations of the City's two wastewater treatment plants along the Rio, how emerging concerns with water quality are being addressed, and the future of reclaimed water use in Flagstaff and around the country.