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Marana residents taking precautions against polluted water

July 21, 2018

In this July 13, 2018, photo, Jaime Gonwa fills a drinking glass from a reverse osmosis water filter faucet at her Saguaro Bloom subdivision home in Marana, Ariz. The drinking water serving about one-third of Marana's households has been tainted for at least two years with excessive levels of two classes of pollutants. (Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — With some their town’s wells still not clear of pollution, some residents of Marana are installing water-treatment systems and buying bottled water as alternatives.

Town residents are taking action in response to a half-dozen polluted wells serving more than one-third of the town water utility’s households, the Arizona Daily Star reported earlier this month.

Marana is located north of Tucson.

Higher than recommended levels of chemical pollutants were found in the wells in late 2016. Two pollutants found in the wells are known to cause a wide range of health effects.

The Marana Water Department has not said exactly when the wells will be cleaned up, town officials said.

The water utility has a detailed cleanup plan in place, but it requires federal direction as to how thoroughly the water needs to be cleaned since standards are frequently changing.

The utility estimates cleanup efforts will cost about $15 million.

The polluted wells provide water to nearly 2,800 customers. The Arizona Daily Star interviewed 11 affected homeowners, who told the paper that they don’t drink or cook with tap water without some form of treatment. They are aware their filters and other water-treatment methods can’t get rid of all the contaminants, some said.

Julian Hernandez and his wife Tiffany moved into one of the homes that receives contaminated water about five months ago.

They had no idea pollutants were in the water, they said.

“It’s definitely alarming. When we bought our house, it was a long-term investment,” Hernandez said.

Their home came with a reverse-osmosis filtering system for the water pre-installed, he said.

If they had known about the contaminated water sooner, they don’t think they would have moved into the home.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.tucson.com

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