“Public water systems are responsible for providing safe drinking water,” said Alexis Strauss, the Water Division director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “We’ll continue to oversee the Cottonwood public water systems as they take the steps necessary to comply with all federal standards.”

The EPA issued orders to the following Cottonwood municipal water systems: Cottonwood Municipal Water, 220 W. Mesquite Drive; Verde Santa Fe Water System, 800 Santa Fe Trail; Clemenceau Water System, 165 S. Candy Lane; and Verde Village 3, 2612 Pleasant Valley Drive.

The city municipal water systems were granted a federal exemption for the new arsenic standard from the EPA in 2006. Under the terms of the exemption, all four water systems were required to meet the new standard by January 2009. All four systems failed to meet the deadline, and are currently out of compliance with the arsenic standard. The orders require the city to submit a plan and schedule to comply by 2011.