Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Tucson Flounders in Selling Treated Water to Residents.

Byline: Dan McKay Journal Staff Writer

TUCSON The complaints rolled in within days. The water smelled foul; it tasted salty. Laundry was stained. The water was brown even blue or green in some cases.

Employees at Tucson's water department heard complaints for years after the city started treating Colorado River water and delivering it to some customers in 1992.

Open canals, pipes and reservoirs carry the water from Lake Havasu to Tucson a 335-mile journey from the California border.

Tucson officials now say the abrupt switch from ground water to river water was marred by inadequate pilot testing of how the water would affect rusted pipes, poor preparation and too little concern for customers with unappetizing water. Despite the problems, the water always met health standards. …

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