SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $2.5 million to Arizona for projects to help restore water quality in polluted water bodies throughout the state, according to a press release.

Arizona has leveraged an additional $1.6 million for these restoration projects, resulting in more than $4 million to improve the quality of surface water this year, stated the release.

Recent data on water quality reveals that a substantial percentage of Arizona’s surface waters are listed as polluted or impaired by the state, reported the release.

Extrapolating from the state’s 2012 surface water assessment, which focused on a portion of streams and lakes in Arizona, 28 percent of stream miles and 74 percent of lake acres do not meet water quality standards, continued the release.

“EPA has invested over $16 million in Arizona surface waters since 2009,” said EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Jared Blumenfeld. “For the benefit of all Arizonans, we need to protect and improve these resources, all the more precious in times of drought.”

Metals, E. coli bacteria, pesticides and fertilizers are the top sources of water pollution to surface water in Arizona, noted the release.

Read the entire release here.