New Truxton water filtration system gets the arsenic out

Longtime compliance issue comes to end with federal health standard for arsenic now met

KINGMAN – The Truxton Canyon Water Company got a clean bill of health from the government for its arsenic filtering system recently.

Now its roughly 1,000 customers no longer have to worry about arsenic in the water, and that makes Rick Neal, Truxton’s manager, very happy.

The Truxton Canyon Water Company completed construction of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality-approved arsenic treatment plan. Sampling and testing of post-treatment water conducted on Aug. 17 demonstrated the water meets the federal health-based drinking water standard for arsenic, said Caroline Oppleman, a spokewoman for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

It has been a long road. The arsenic issue popped its head up when the Environmental Protection Agency lowered the allowable arsenic rates from 50 parts per billion down to 10 ppb. Compliance was supposed to be met in 2006.

“We had a couple of wells in one of our aquifers at certain times of the year exceeded 10 ppb,” said Neal. Per the new EPA regulations, we had to put in an arsenic treatment facility, he said.

And to Neal’s and the customers’ delight, the 2 ppb figure is well below the allowable limit of 10 ppb.

“We are very happy,” said Neal.

“You have to do it the way the state and federal government wants you to do it, and that takes time. The people were a little frustrated because of the length of time it was taking, and we were also frustrated in the length of time it was taking,” said Neal.

“Now that it’s in place (the filtration system), we are very happy that it’s in place, and we wish we could have done it a long time ago,” said Neal. Between the state the federal government, there was never a lack of hoops to jump through.

Neal said once Truxton got approval, it only took two months to build the filtration system.

Customers of Truxton Canyon Water Company use about 500 gallons of water per minute on average, said Neal.

Residential customers’ bills will go up about $2 a month, said Neal.

According to an Arizona Corporate Commission press release, Truxton Canyon Water Company was authorized to borrow around $350,000 from the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority for the construction of the arsenic treatment facility.

TCWC will pay around $40,000 annually to cover the principle, interest, reserve fund and taxes associated with the loan.

Neal said the filtration process involves an iron-based media that absorbs arsenic from the water. The media will last anywhere from three to 10 years, Neal said.

“It works really well,” said Neal, who added that it was the most common form of treating arsenic in the water.