Arizona Daily Star: Tucson Water Mistakenly Sent Contaminated Water to Thousands of Residents

The Arizona Daily Star’s Tony Davis reported on Sept. 29, 2018, that Tucson Water shut down a treatment plant after discovering it was sending water contaminated with chemical compounds to thousands of residents of downtown and the city’s west and north sides.

Shortly after making that discovery, utility officials also learned that they had mistakenly thought for some time that uncontaminated water was coming out of the plant, which has long treated south-side water pollution.

“Is it embarrassing? Yeah,” acknowledged Jeff Biggs, Tucson Water’s administrator for strategic initiatives, to the Arizona Daily Star. But, he said, the city had questioned the discrepancy in the pollution levels it was finding and reacted immediately once it learned of the mistake.

“We investigated and we made operational changes to lower the level (of contamination) that we served to the public,” Biggs said.

KOLD Report: Where people live the longest, shortest in Tucson

On Aug. 2, KOLD-TV aired a report on where people live the longest in the Tucson area and it listed this statistic for life expectancy between people who live in the foothills as opposed to the southside — 84.7 years in the foothills vs. 68.5 years in the southside.

The stats are from the American Heart Association. The report does not include information about the history of water contamination on the southside nd how that might affect the life expectancy of people who lived on the southside since the 1940’s.