ADEQ: Drinking water in Pinal County is now safe

- There are new developments in the ongoing water problems in Pinal County.

On Friday, state officials put out a warning about high levels of nitrate in the drinking water that could be dangerous to babies. Over the last few days, state officials and concerned residents have had trouble getting a hold of Johnson Utilities, the water company that serves Pinal County -- but now we're learning the water is safe again to drink.

Many people living in the affected area have been very worried over the past few days about this drinking water issue. A couple we spoke to in Florence says they have had no luck contacting Johnson utilities and they were even hung up on!

On Friday, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality alerted people living in Pinal County who get their water from Johnson Utilities that the drinking water was unsafe for infants under 6 months old. They say samples collected on October 27 and November 21 showed nitrate levels of 12 milligrams per liter and 11.4 milligrams per liter -- exceeding the federal drinking water standard of 10 milligrams per liter.

ADEQ claimed they tried to get in touch with Johnson Utilities to see if they contacted customers about the problem. But with no luck in reaching the company, ADEQ sent out the warning about the water.

Debra McDermott and Travis Myers, who live in Florence and have two small children, say they've been worried ever since. McDermott says she too tried to contact Johnson Utilities for some answers.

"They told me it was after hours and they couldn't do anything about it and to call back on Monday, so I did and they still gave me the hassle and said we can't tell you anything, we don't know anything." 

On Tuesday, ADEQ reported the problem has been fixed and everyone can drink the tap water. They say they've received confirmation that those samples collected earlier showed nitrate levels met federal drinking water standards. Although McDermott and Myers are relieved by this news, they are still upset with the lack of information they were given from Johnson Utilities.

"Let your customers know what's going on. Don't hide anything because that's when people get sick, deathly ill, possibly death happens," said Myers. "If they're going to deny not knowing and in my opinion, play stupid over the phone, I see no reason to believe that company."

ADEQ also says certified methods were used for testing.

By the way, we have repeatedly tried to contact Johnson Utilities, but have not been able to get in touch with the company.

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