Clean Water Act
Since 2006, in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, volunteers of the Sierra Club Water Sentinels program have monitored water quality at seven sites along the Verde River. Water quality data has been collected for selected water quality parameters, including pH, temperature, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids, E. coli bacteria, arsenic, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, and total phosphorus.
Water Sentinels Data
Here is an example of the data for E. coli:
The photo shows sample collection near Verde Springs.
The Water Sentinels water quality data indicate that the water quality in the upper Verde meets the Clean Water Act standards for body contact. A full analysis of the water quality data can be downloaded.
Prompted by concern that mercury emissions from the Drake Cement plant could interfere with endangered native fish reproduction, the Water Sentinels, Drake Cement, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service cooperatively conducted a study of mercury in the upper Verde. The study measured mercury levels prior to the operation of the cement kiln, establishing a baseline of natural mercury levels. Observed mercury levels were well below the threshold known to cause reproductive or behavioral issues in fish.