Education Campaign Helps Reduce Septic System



   Location: The City of Scottsdale (City) is a community of 218,000 located in Maricopa
   County, Arizona.

   Water Supply: The City owns and operates a municipal water system with approximately
   80,000 service connections. Water sources include both surface water and groundwater.
   Surface waters consist of the Colorado River (through the Central Arizona Project) and
   the Salt and Verde rivers (through the Salt River Project). Groundwater supplies are
   withdrawn from the regional aquifer. Groundwater supplies include water withdrawn and
   treated to drinking water standards from the North  Indian Bend Wash Superfund site, a
   regional  plume of trichloroethylene (TCE) contaminated groundwater.

   Source Water Assessment: In 2003, a Source Water Survey was completed on the
   City's behalf by a consultant. Recommendations contained in the report encompassed a
   number of activities, including increasing public education and addressing septic system
   use within the City. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is drafting
   an area-wide source water assessment for the regional surface water supplies.

   Priority Contamination Threats

   The Scottsdale area has had extremely rapid growth that has resulted in a unique blend
   of urban, suburban, and rural settings all mixed into one area. This rapid growth is one of
   the highest growth rates in the United States and is presenting challenges to protecting
   drinking water, both public and private sources. With new housing developments being
   built in source water areas, the City would like to increase public education and
   awareness on proper septic tank design and operation.

   Local Team and Developing the Protection  Plan

   The City plans to use the grant funds for public education and outreach materials
   addressing septic system use. To direct the effort,  the City  has assembled an informal
   project team. The team is comprised of water quality and water conservation personnel,
   with consultation from ADEQ personnel and water operations staff.

   Protection Measures

   Efforts have been directed toward increasing public education and awareness on septic
   system operation, appropriate landscaping, and preventing septic system failures. The
   team has solicited for contract assistance from a local septic system expert and a
   professional writer to craft current and locally applicable public education materials. The
   public education materials address any special concerns related to septic systems within
   the arid local environment.
Office of Water (4606M)                      816F10002                            January 2010

   The City has other ongoing activities that complement this step, including:

          The City has a well abandonment program in place for the abandonment of
          inactive wells that may pose a conduit threat;

          The City has solicited consultant assistance in inventorying and mapping wells of
          different types that may have an impact on City water production wells. This
          included wells within the City that are not owned or operated by the City. Well
          types that are evaluated include water production wells, irrigation wells, recharge
          wells, and  private residential wells. The City has developed a classification of
          wells by type and priority, with recommendations for future actions.

          The City maintains water production well sites and sanitary seals on all water
          production wells, in accordance with state and local requirements.

   Contingency  Planning

   The Water Resources Department has developed and distributed "A Guide for the Septic
   System Owner" to septic system owners located within the City and  its water service
   area.  There are approximately 7,000 homeowners who use onsite wastewater systems
   (septic systems) for disposal of their wastewater.  In 2008, the City of Scottsdale
   updated its Wastewater Master  Plan. The Master Plan identified a number of developed
   areas that are currently served by septic systems that will likely be connected to the
   municipal wastewater system at some point in the future.

   Measuring  Program Effectiveness
   The City of Scottsdale continues to distribute septic system educational materials the
   public as needed.  Citizen calls and inquiries are documented in the city's call center

   For further information, contact:
   Carie Wilson
   City of Scottsdale  Water Resources Department
   Regulatory Compliance Manager
Office of Water (4606M)                        816F10002                              January 2010