GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. — Grand Canyon National Park patrons who might have consumed water from or come in contact with water from Roaring Springs are being alerted about a possible decontamination failure.

The following is the text of a non-emergency advisory, which was issued Monday by the National Park Service:

During the early morning on Thursday, Nov. 9, our water system did not provide adequate levels of chlorine in the water being used from Roaring Springs.

As a result, the water was not disinfected as the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality requires. Therefore, our water system violated a treatment technique standard for maintaining adequate disinfection for water delivered to customers from Roaring Springs. As our customers, you have a right to know what happened and what we did to correct this situation.

After this problem was identified, operators immediately notified the State Drinking Water division and Grand Canyon started the process to identify the source of the failure. The source was identified, and adequate chlorination was restored on Friday morning, Nov. 10, 2023.”

This 2014 National Park Service photo shows water spraying from a break in an exposed section of the Transcanyon Pipeline after a flash flood event. 
The pipeline, installed in the mid-1960s, feeds water from Roaring Springs, located approximately 3,500 feet below the North Rim, Jan. 2, 2014 | Photo courtesy of National Park Service, St. George News

What should I do?

“There is nothing you need to do unless you have a compromised immune system, have an infant or are elderly. These people may have been at increased risk when our system failed to provide adequate disinfection and should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791. If you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.

You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours. We will announce any emergencies through the Public Affairs office and posted at strategic locations within the park.

What does this mean?

This is not an emergency. If it had been an emergency, you would have been notified within 24 hours.

Inadequately treated or inadequately protected water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, cramps and associated headaches. While we have not detected any evidence of contamination or other health threats to our source water, we are committed to restoring the required level of treatment to the water from Roaring Springs to eliminate the threat of contamination.

What is being done?

Operators went to Roaring Springs to troubleshoot the chlorination pumps and determine the cause for loss of pressure and chlorination. The chlorine injection pumps were repaired and placed back in service.

When is the system expected to return to compliance?

Nov. 10, 2023; the issue was resolved, and chlorination was reestablished.