The Show on KJZZ

Listen live weekdays at 9 a.m.

Water's Journey From Canal To Tap

Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 4:46pm
Audio icon Download mp3 (8.09 MB)
(Photo by Mark Brodie - KJZZ)
Phoenix water goes from here to the rest of the city.
(Photo by Mark Brodie-KJZZ)
One of the first stops for Phoenix water is the pre-sedimentation basin.

This summer’s monsoons have brought down trees and branches, and have made some of the Valley’s canals a bit muddy.

That means a bit of a ramp-up at Phoenix’s water treatment plants, which take that H2O, and get it ready to deliver to homes and businesses.

The process starts at Phoenix’s 24 th Street Treatment Plant, a sprawling 100-plus acre campus. At its peak, it can process and treat 120 million gallons a day.

The pre-sedimentation basin basically looks like a giant lake, with very still water.

The chemical added to the water helps separate the stuff you do want to drink, from the stuff you don’t. 

Troy Hayes is Phoenix’s assistant water services director. He said many of the treatments try to mimic nature.

He acknowledged, though, that not everyone will be satisfied with how the final product tastes.

"So the water you grew up on, that's what water tastes like so you," Hayes said. For example, people from the midwest have a different baseline for taste.

The next step for Phoenix water is the coagulation basin, where you can see pieces of dirt clumping together.

It then moves to something called the sedimentation basin. Here, scrapers take off what’s fallen to the bottom of the pool, to remove the solids and send them to a landfill.

Hayes said during storms, workers can haul off four or five trailers every day filled with sediment that’s been taken out of the water.

The last treatment process is the filtration process. Hayes said from here, the water gets sent to one of three, 20 million-gallon covered reservoirs on-site — and then, to the faucet.

He said generally, it takes about four hours for canal water to become tap water.

The Show