Water Utility Fails Basic Safety Test

Monday morning Rural Metro and Supervisor Mike Goodman went out and did random, surprise tests on fire hydrants. For years fire hydrant tests were done with the approval of Johnson Utilities. For many, this lead to doubt about the accuracy and frequency of the hydrant tests that were being conducted.

Supervisor Goodman put an end to that this week and took Rural Metro out to several communities. The findings are frightening, but at this point not unexpected.

First, let’s talk about what Rural Metro prefers to work with when it comes to water pressure. From a hydrant, they prefer a PSI in the range of 70-100 PSI. When it comes to municipalities many state a MINIMUM of 30 PSI over a specified time.

What areas were tested?
Four areas were tested: Copper Basin, Johnson Ranch, San Tan Heights, and Magma Ranch.

What were the results?
Of the hydrants that were tested, not one passed the minimum of 30 PSI that other municipalities have set. San Tan Heights had the “best” reading which hit 30 PSI for less than 30 seconds, then quickly fell to below 20 PSI.

The other areas that were tested offered even worse results with most coming in at 10-15 PSI. Magma Ranch offered the lowest numbers at 8 PSI.

All hydrants tested were below MINIMUM recommendations of other municipalities while falling drastically short of what the fire department prefers to work with when attempting to put out a fire.

With such low numbers the risk to public safety is very real as the ability to put out fires throughout the entire area is in serious question.

With verification from ADWR, it has been determined that the water table is not the problem when it comes to supplying water to the San Tan Valley area. Which means this is a problem with infrastructure. This infrastructure problem could end up costing people their lives, the lives of their loved ones, and their homes. It could also put fire fighters at risk as they deal with resources that fall below their needs.

The concerns over the infrastructure and the problems San Tan Valley is currently facing were predicted by Queen Creek during the ACC evidentiary hearings that took place recently. An additional ACC evidentiary hearing will take place on Monday, July 16, regarding the low water pressure that San Tan Valley continues to deal with.

If you are dealing with problems regarding water pressure, water quality, sewage overflow or any other concern regarding the Utility company be sure to submit complaints to the ACC and ADEQ.

Arizona Corporation Commission Complaint Submission:
Docket number to the comment: WS-02987A-18-0151

Submit an ADEQ complaint:

Additionally, there are people within the community that will support and help residents when it comes to documenting problems and providing assistance when possible. Supervisor Mike Goodman spent the weekend visiting the homes of San Tan Valley residents that have been experiencing water pressure problems. Supervisor Goodman has stressed that residents should reach out to him regarding the ongoing water issues that residents are experiencing as he continues to document the problems the area faces.

Supervisor Goodman:

The United Citizens

San Tan Times: