CAP has two real-time water quality monitoring systems installed on the CAP system to provide valuable information to CAP water users, one at CAP headquarters near 7th Street and another in the east valley near McDowell Road.
Accurate water quality data allows those taking CAP water to more effectively and efficiently treat the water because they can anticipate and prepare for any adjustments that need to be made. Water quality data includes temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and turbidity. Turbidity is a measurement of water clarity based on sediment particles that have been suspended in the water.
The information collected at headquarters is immediately transferred onto the CAP website so water users can access the data on their own schedule.
Water quality measurements that deviate from “normal” can directly impact CAP water users, especially municipal water treatment plants, and can lead to increased chemical and labor costs, and disposal problems. Fortunately, CAP water is considered to be of good quality, as turbidity is generally low and most parameters rarely experience any spikes. In the event of any unusual inconsistencies, CAP’s monitoring program includes control center procedures for direct notice to our water users.
As part of its water quality efforts, CAP also partners with Arizona State University and other water providers in the metropolitan Phoenix area for research on regional monitoring and evaluation. This includes sampling of the water from the canal and Lake Pleasant. These efforts allow biologists to make advance recommendations to cities regarding treatment options and also can provide early warning information on potentially large changes in water quality.