PHOENIX — In response to recent reports of especially low water pressure for Johnson Utilities customers in San Tan Valley, Commissioner Justin Olson has requested Corporation Commission staff to investigate the cause of this latest failure in the Johnson Utilities water system.

The Commission understands that the low water pressure is affecting the areas of Copper Basin, Johnson Ranch, Oasis Magic Ranch, and Rancho Bella Vista South. On May 30, 2018, Johnson Utilities posted a message to its website advising customers that an important well pump failed resulting in the well going offline. The company originally reported it expected the situation to be resolved in 24 hours and normal operating pressure to return to normal. The Commission has received complaints, however, the recent low water pressure still remains for many customers. Johnson Utilities has reported that a well pump company is working to resolve the situation.

The Commission is currently investigating the issue and is demanding answers from the company to confirm the source of the problem and how long customers can expect the low water pressure to last. Commission staff will be testing the water pressure at various locations to ensure the pressure meets Commission standards.

“Since being appointed to the Commission seven months ago, I have been shocked by the number of times things have gone wrong at this utility,” said Commissioner Olson. “It is unacceptable that Johnson Utilities customers are forced to once again suffer from the utility’s failure to provide reliable public services.”

The news of low water pressure comes on the heels of a lengthy hearing that was recently completed involving long standing water quality, water pressure, and billing complaints leveled against Johnson Utilities. In March, the Commissioners ordered staff to file an Application for an Order to Show Cause as to why an interim manager should not be appointed. The Commission heard testimony and took evidence over the course of 14 hearing days. At this point, the parties have submitted closing briefings and a recommended order and opinion is being prepared by Administrative Law Judge Sarah Harpring. It is currently expected that the final vote will be taken by the Commissioners at the July Open Meeting.

All documents related to the investigation into the billing and water quality issues of Johnson Utilities, LLC, may be found in the Commission’s online docket at http://edocket.azcc.gov by searching for docket number WS-02987A-18-0050.

About Commissioner Olsen

Justin Olson was appointed to the Arizona Corporation Commission in October 2017. Commissioner Olson began his public service in the Arizona State House of Representatives where he served from 2011 to 2017. During his tenure in the State Legislature, Commissioner Olson chaired the House Appropriations Committee and the Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility Committee. In addition to his public service, Commissioner Olson has extensive experience in the private sector where he has worked as a research analyst and a tax manager. Commissioner Olson currently chairs the Commission’s Tax, Accounting and Finance Committee. Commissioner Olson led the Commission’s efforts to reduce utility rates to account for savings realized by the 2017 Federal Tax Reform.

The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit
http://azcc.gov.

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