Federal Stimulus funds aid compliance with EPA drinking water standards
A new water treatment plant that removes arsenic from drinking water is now operating in Tubac, Ariz. The plant was built by Arizona American Water and is partially funded by a grant from Federal Stimulus funds. In addition to the new facility, Arizona American Water also restored two roads to help benefit Tubac residents. Updating Keating Circle and Nielson Road were county requirements in order for the facility to be approved. Arizona American Water also cooperated with the Tubac Fire Department to install additional hydrants for the residents while construction was already taking place.
"We once again want to thank all the people involved, especially Kristin Mayes, chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission, for making this happen," said Joe Gross, director of engineering. "The construction started this June, and we have been able to finish on budget and deliver the additional benefits of road improvements and improved fire fighting ability."
Securing the million dollars in federal stimulus funding was part of Arizona American Water's effort, along with leadership from the Santa Cruz Citizens Council and the Arizona Corporation Commission, to mitigate the cost impact to customers of unfunded and more stringent federal requirements.
In April, the Water Infrastructure Financing Authority (WIFA) announced a combination of federal grants and loans for use on this project. The arsenic removal facility is needed to bring local drinking water into compliance with more stringent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for arsenic levels in drinking water. WIFA is responsible for administering funds provided to the State of Arizona from the Federal Stimulus Package for water and sewer projects.