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State Regulators: Johnson Utilities Water Safe To Drink

Customers of a utility in Pinal County can drink their water without fear.

State environmental officials made that announcement late Tuesday after days of concern over high nitrate levels in the water supply of Johnson Utilities.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued a warning last week for customers of the utility, saying the water can pose a risk to children six years and younger.

That was based on tests performed in October and November.

Johnson Utilities disputed the results, saying its own testing showed the water was safe to drink. There had been disagreement between the state and the utility about how it reached that conclusion.

Now regulators say the more recent samples meet the federal drinking water standards. Nitrate can enter the water supply through natural, industrial or agricultural sources.

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.