Water is the most common substance on Earth, collecting in lakes and flowing across the land as streams and rivers. Water is plentiful and yet, only 1% of the water on Earth is available as a drinking water source.
Fifty percent of the U.S. population, including all of us here in Payson, depend on water stored in the ground for our source of drinking water. Our drinking water comes from rainfall that soaks into the ground and is stored within random cracks and fractures in granite rock. These underground networks of water-filled cracks are known as aquifers.
In order to ensure that we have water of sufficient quantity, but also of sufficient quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) require all public water systems to test the water they deliver on a frequent basis. Currently, the Payson Water Department staff samples all of the town’s groundwater wells for over 100 different contaminants, as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
In addition to routine testing, the Water Department prevents contamination of the public water supply by requiring the installation of backflow assemblies as needed throughout the water distribution system. The Town also has a wellhead protection program to prevent contamination of the groundwater which is the sole supply of drinking water for our community.