Arizona Emergency Bulletin Feed
Update regarding Water Quality Advisory issued by ADEQ for unpermitted discharge of treated water into Queen Creek
Wed, 16 Jan 2019 21:07:46 +0000

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) issued a Water Quality Advisory on January 11, 2019 for the unpermitted discharge of recycled water from Johnson Utilities’ Pecan Water Reclamation Plant into Queen Creek in the San Tan Valley area. There is no impact to Johnson Utilities’ drinking water systems and there has NOT been a release of untreated sewage into the environment.

EPCOR notified ADEQ of a spill of treated recycled water on January 6, 2019 and an impending controlled release on January 7, 2019. ADEQ sent an inspector to the facility on Friday, January 11, 2019 to better assess the situation before the upcoming weekend. Upon arrival at the facility, an inspector observed an on-going release into Queen Creek and gathered water samples for testing. On January 15, 2019, EPCOR confirmed the release would continue intermittently with wet weather in the area. EPCOR estimates a total release of 11.75 million gallons as of the afternoon of January 15, 2019.

Preliminary results of the samples collected at the pipe discharging water into Queen Creek show it is meeting E. coli surface water quality standards for both full and partial body contact. Further results regarding nitrogen and other contaminants will be available within a week. E. coli is naturally occurring and most strains are not harmful to humans. Surface water quality standards allow a certain level of E. coli that would be expected from natural sources.

Recommended Actions:

  • Avoid contact with standing water in this area. Do not allow people or pets to drink this water. In the event of contact, thoroughly wash with soap and clean water as soon as possible.
  • Contact a medical professional if you have any questions or show symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea after coming in contact with the water.

This advisory is limited to the unpermitted discharge of recycled water into Queen Creek. ADEQ will continue to monitor the situation. Recycled water is typically used for non-potable applications, including for irrigation of golf courses and common areas within a community or in ponds at the facility to recharge the aquifer. The use of recycled water in a community is indicated by purple pipes and signage cautioning against contact with standing water. ADEQ confirmed with EPCOR samples taken in January 2019 inside the plant meet water quality standards for A+ effluent.

The unpermitted discharge is due to an exceedance of recharge capacity of the Pecan Water Reclamation Plant. The plant is located at 38539 N Gantzel Rd in San Tan Valley. To manage future flows, EPCOR is working to increase recycled water capacity for local irrigation districts and farmers. EPCOR was appointed by the Arizona Corporation Commission as the interim manager for Johnson Utilities in August 2018.

Contact

ADEQ Public Information Officer | 602-771-2215 (office) | 602-540-8072 (cell) | pio@azdeq.gov

ADEQ issues Water Quality Advisory
Sat, 12 Jan 2019 02:53:32 +0000

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a Water Quality Advisory for the unpermitted discharge of recycled water into Queen Creek in the San Tan Valley area. Please avoid contact with the water in this area.

ADEQ is making this recommendation because a discharge of recycled water into Queen Creek occurred from the Pecan Water Reclamation Plant. Recycled water is treated but is not required to meet surface water quality standards associated with full or partial body contact and this area of Queen Creek has been previously exposed to sewer overflows. People and animals exposed to water in this environment are at risk of infection from microorganisms associated with human waste. 

Recycled water is typically used for non-potable applications, including for irrigation of golf courses and common areas within a community or in ponds at the facility to recharge the aquifer. The use of recycled water in a community is indicated by purple pipes and signage.

Recommended Actions:

  • Avoid contact with the water in this area. Do not allow people or pets to drink this water, wade through it or use it for washing. In the event of contact, thoroughly wash with soap and clean water as soon as possible.
  • Contact a medical professional if you have any questions or show symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea.

This advisory will remain in effect until the discharge is stopped. ADEQ will lift the advisory by issuing an additional notice and contacting local officials.

The unpermitted discharge is due to high volume that exceeded the capacity of the Pecan Water Reclamation Plant to treat and process wastewater. The plant is located at 38539 N Gantzel Rd in San Tan Valley. The high volume may be due to increased residential use from homes occupied normally only during the cooler months and decreased evaporation due to recent cool, wet weather.

EPCOR was appointed by the Arizona Corporation Commission as the interim manager for Johnson Utilities in August 2018. EPCOR is working to manage flows. This discharge may prevent an accidental release of untreated wastewater elsewhere in the system. ADEQ is assessing the discharge.

High Pollution Advisory issued for Jan. 1 in Maricopa County
Mon, 31 Dec 2018 17:04:50 +0000

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for fine particulate matter (PM-2.5) effective Jan. 1, 2019, in Maricopa County. PM-2.5 is made up of small particles (soot) found in smoke. ADEQ recommends that people limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, especially children and adults with respiratory problems.

Access the latest air quality forecast information at:

ADEQ Air Quality Hourly Forecast | View Webpage >

During an HPA, Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) declares a “No Burn Day”. Wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, outdoor fire pits and similar outdoor fires is not permitted.

MCAQD No Burn Day Information | View >

Burn cleaner, burn better with gas or electric instead of wood. Get help switching over with:

MCAQD Fireplace Retrofit Program | View >

MCAQD Propane Fire Pit Program | View >

Health Impacts

People most vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution include children, older adults, adults exercising outdoors and people with heart or lung disease and those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. Exposure can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis or other lung disease and reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. Symptoms may include itchy eyes, nose, and throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and upper respiratory issues. Long-term exposure is linked to premature death in people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat and decreased lung function.

Please help reduce PM-2.5 by doing one or more of the following:

  • Use gas or electric instead of burning wood
  • Limit the lighting of fireworks
  • Ride transit, carpool or telework
  • Eliminate all unnecessary driving and/or combine trips
  • If burning wood for heat or food preparation, use dry wood (burning wet wood releases more particulate matter)

Employers and Travel Reduction Program Transportation Coordinators should activate their HPA Plans immediately.

 

High Pollution Advisory issued for Dec. 31 in Maricopa County
Sun, 30 Dec 2018 20:32:27 +0000

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for fine particulate matter (PM-2.5) effective Dec. 31 in Maricopa County. PM-2.5 is made up of small particles (soot) found in smoke. ADEQ recommends that people limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, especially children and adults with respiratory problems.

Access the latest air quality forecast information at:

ADEQ Air Quality Hourly Forecast | View Webpage >

During an HPA, Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) declares a “No Burn Day”. Wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, outdoor fire pits and similar outdoor fires is not permitted.

MCAQD No Burn Day Information | View >

Burn cleaner, burn better with gas or electric instead of wood. Get help switching over with:

MCAQD Fireplace Retrofit Program | View >

MCAQD Propane Fire Pit Program | View >

Health Impacts

People most vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution include children, older adults, adults exercising outdoors and people with heart or lung disease and those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. Exposure can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis or other lung disease and reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. Symptoms may include itchy eyes, nose, and throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and upper respiratory issues. Long-term exposure is linked to premature death in people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat and decreased lung function.

Please help reduce PM-2.5 by doing one or more of the following:

  • Use gas or electric instead of burning wood
  • Limit the lighting of fireworks
  • Ride transit, carpool or telework
  • Eliminate all unnecessary driving and/or combine trips
  • If burning wood for heat or food preparation, use dry wood (burning wet wood releases more particulate matter)

Employers and Travel Reduction Program Transportation Coordinators should activate their HPA Plans immediately.

Snow and ice reported on northern and eastern Arizona roadways
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 05:06:50 +0000

Snow or ice has been reported on at least two Arizona roadways, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

State Route 389 has snow or ice from mileposts 0 to 32. This is from the Utah state line at Colorado City to past Kaibab, Arizona. State Route 264 has snow on the pavement from mileposts 430 to 445. This is near Steamboat Canyon in eastern Arizona.

ADOT recommends drivers be prepared to slow down or stop in these conditions.

Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511 and through ADOT’s Twitter feed,@ArizonaDOT. When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, our free app available at ADOTAlerts.com will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.

High Pollution Advisory in effect for Dec. 24 & 25 in Maricopa County
Mon, 24 Dec 2018 15:48:26 +0000

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for fine particulate matter (PM-2.5) effective Dec. 24 & 25, 2018 in Maricopa County. PM-2.5 is made up of small particles (soot) found in smoke. ADEQ recommends that people limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, especially children and adults with respiratory problems.

Access the latest air quality forecast information at:

ADEQ Air Quality Hourly Forecast | View Webpage >

During an HPA, Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) declares a “No Burn Day”. Wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, outdoor fire pits and similar outdoor fires is not permitted.

MCAQD No Burn Day Information | View >

Burn cleaner, burn better with gas or electric instead of wood. Get help switching over with:

MCAQD Fireplace Retrofit Program | View >

MCAQD Propane Fire Pit Program | View >

Health Impacts

People most vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution include children, older adults, adults exercising outdoors and people with heart or lung disease and those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. Exposure can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis or other lung disease and reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. Symptoms may include itchy eyes, nose, and throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and upper respiratory issues. Long-term exposure is linked to premature death in people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat and decreased lung function.

Please help reduce PM-2.5 by doing one or more of the following:

•             Use gas or electric instead of burning wood

•             Limit the lighting of fireworks

•             Ride transit, carpool or telework

•             Eliminate all unnecessary driving and/or combine trips

•             If burning wood for heat or food preparation, use dry wood (burning wet wood releases more particulate matter)

Employers and Travel Reduction Program Transportation Coordinators should activate their HPA Plans immediately.

BACKGROUND

High Pollution Advisory (HPA): Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is forecast to exceed the federal health standard.

Health Watch: Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is forecast to approach the federal health standard.

Particulate Matter: State and county agencies measure levels of particulate matter (PM) in the air. PM is extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets that circulate in air. PM comes from combustion (cars, industry, wood burning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM occur when air is especially stagnant or windy. Two types of PM are measured: PM-10, commonly called dust, and PM-2.5, commonly called soot or smoke. PM-10 is 10 microns or less in size and PM-2.5 is 2.5 microns or less in size. For perspective, one strand of human hair is 70-100 microns in size.

 

 

 

 

High Pollution Advisory issued for Dec. 23 & 24 in Maricopa County
Sun, 23 Dec 2018 17:56:58 +0000

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for fine particulate matter (PM-2.5) effective December 23 & 24 in Maricopa County. PM-2.5 is made up of small particles (soot) found in smoke. ADEQ recommends that people limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, especially children and adults with respiratory problems.

Access the latest air quality forecast information at:

ADEQ Air Quality Hourly Forecast | View Webpage >

During an HPA, Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) declares a “No Burn Day”. Wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, outdoor fire pits and similar outdoor fires is not permitted.

MCAQD No Burn Day Information | View >

Burn cleaner, burn better with gas or electric instead of wood. Get help switching over with:

MCAQD Fireplace Retrofit Program | View >

MCAQD Propane Fire Pit Program | View >

Health Impacts

People most vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution include children, older adults, adults exercising outdoors and people with heart or lung disease and those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. Exposure can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis or other lung disease and reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. Symptoms may include itchy eyes, nose, and throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and upper respiratory issues. Long-term exposure is linked to premature death in people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat and decreased lung function.

Please help reduce PM-2.5 by doing one or more of the following:

  • Use gas or electric instead of burning wood
  • Limit the lighting of fireworks
  • Ride transit, carpool or telework
  • Eliminate all unnecessary driving and/or combine trips
  • If burning wood for heat or food preparation, use dry wood (burning wet wood releases more particulate matter)

Employers and Travel Reduction Program Transportation Coordinators should activate their HPA Plans immediately.

 

High Pollution Advisory in effect Dec. 23 & 24 in Nogales
Sun, 23 Dec 2018 17:53:20 +0000

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for fine particulate matter (PM-2.5) effective December 23 & 24 in Nogales. PM-2.5 is made up of small particles (soot) found in smoke. ADEQ recommends that people limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, especially children and adults with respiratory problems.

Access the latest air quality forecast information at:

ADEQ Air Quality Hourly Forecast

Air Nogales Mobile App with Daily Air Quality Forecasts

Health Impacts

People most vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution include children, older adults, adults exercising outdoors and people with heart or lung disease and those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. Exposure can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis or other lung disease and reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. Symptoms may include itchy eyes, nose, and throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and upper respiratory issues. Long-term exposure is linked to premature death in people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat and decreased lung function.

Please help reduce PM-2.5 by doing one or more of the following:

•             Use gas or electric instead of burning wood

•             Limit the lighting of fireworks

•             Ride transit, carpool or telework

•             Eliminate all unnecessary driving and/or combine trips

•             If burning wood for heat or food preparation, use dry wood (burning wet wood releases more particulate matter)

High Pollution Advisory (HPA): Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is forecast to exceed the federal health standard.

Health Watch: Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is forecast to approach the federal health standard.

Particulate Matter: State and county agencies measure levels of particulate matter (PM) in the air. PM is extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets that circulate in air. PM comes from combustion (cars, industry, wood burning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM occur when air is especially stagnant or windy. Two types of PM are measured: PM-10, commonly called dust, and PM-2.5, commonly called soot or smoke. PM-10 is 10 microns or less in size and PM-2.5 is 2.5 microns or less in size. For perspective, one strand of human hair is 70-100 microns in size.

 

Health watch and high pollution advisory issued for this weekend in Maricopa County
Fri, 21 Dec 2018 16:56:14 +0000

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing the following air quality alerts for Maricopa County:

•           Health Watch for December 22, 2018

•           High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for December 23, 2018

These alerts are for fine particulate matter (PM-2.5). PM-2.5 is made up of small particles (soot) found in smoke. ADEQ recommends that people limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, especially children and adults with respiratory problems.

During an HPA, Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) has declared a “No Burn Day”. Wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, outdoor fire pits and similar outdoor fires is not permitted.

Burn cleaner, burn better with gas or electric instead of wood. Get help switching over with:

Health Impacts

People most vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution include children, older adults, adults exercising outdoors and people with heart or lung disease and those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. Exposure can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis or other lung disease and reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. Symptoms may include itchy eyes, nose, and throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and upper respiratory issues. Long-term exposure is linked to premature death in people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat and decreased lung function.

Please help reduce PM-2.5 by doing one or more of the following:

•           Use gas or electric instead of burning wood

•           Limit the lighting of fireworks

•           Ride transit, carpool or telework

•           Eliminate all unnecessary driving and/or combine trips

•           If burning wood for heat or food preparation, use dry wood (burning wet wood releases more particulate matter)

Employers and Travel Reduction Program Transportation Coordinators should activate their HPA Plans immediately.

High Pollution Advisory (HPA): Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is forecast to exceed the federal health standard.

Health Watch: Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is forecast to approach the federal health standard.

Particulate Matter: State and county agencies measure levels of particulate matter (PM) in the air. PM is extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets that circulate in air. PM comes from combustion (cars, industry, wood burning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM occur when air is especially stagnant or windy. Two types of PM are measured: PM-10, commonly called dust, and PM-2.5, commonly called soot or smoke. PM-10 is 10 microns or less in size and PM-2.5 is 2.5 microns or less in size. For perspective, one strand of human hair is 70-100 microns in size.

High pollution advisory issued for Dec. 22, 23 in Nogales
Fri, 21 Dec 2018 15:59:00 +0000

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Dec. 22 & 23 for fine particulate matter (PM-2.5), also known as soot, for the Nogales area in Arizona. This HPA is due to particle pollutant levels expected to accumulate enough to exceed the federal health standard for PM-2.5.

Particles in the PM-2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs and can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to fine particles can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

ADEQ recommends that the general public limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, particularly people with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children.

During this HPA, ADEQ encourages residents and businesses to use these tips and resources to help make the air healthier to breathe:

  • Avoid or limit wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, outdoor fire pits and similar outdoor fires (including at hotels and restaurants and individuals/businesses that have permits for open burning)
  • Avoid using leaf blowers
  • Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads and using off-road vehicles
  • Drive as little as possible, carpool, use public transit or telecommute

ADEQ also urges businesses conducting dust-generating operations to be vigilant in their dust control measures.


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