Johnson Utilties Questions Queen Creek’s Capabilities

By San Tan Times Staff

Yesterday Johnson Utilities posted a press release on Facebook, located here, that openly questioned Queen Creek’s capacity and capabilities to handle interconnecting. For those unfamiliar, Queen Creek’s interconnecting proposal could alleviate some of the capacity issues that EPCOR faces when it comes to repairing the infrastructure to Johnson Utilities. You can read Queen Creek’s recent statement on the interconnecting proposal here.

In the press release that is available below, Johnson Utilities states “With two times the active wells and a “100-year water supply designation” from ADWR that Johnson Utilities possesses and Queen Creek does not, the question must be asked: does Queen Creek have the capacity to provide water to another utility when it doesn’t have the 100-year water supply for its own growth?”

Johnson Utilities neglects to mention in their press release that Johnson Utilities cannot handle their own capacity needs as shown by repetitive sanitary sewage overflows, or upkeep on their own infrastructure, while dangerous conditions were found at their facilities when EPCOR first began their review of the Johnson Utilities facilities as covered in the August 14, 2018 article in Pinal Central. To be clear, it has been confirmed that EPCOR was not involved in issuing this press release or posting it on Johnson Utilities Facebook page.

Johnson Utilities states in the press release that “EPCOR has not yet made a final determination as to whether the Johnson Utilities water system will in fact fall short in meeting summer demand, as current capacity and scheduled additions within Johnson Utilities itself will be sufficient”

Yet, EPCOR’s own updates to the ACC and the San Tan Valley Community state “It was identified in the October 5, 2018 Johnson Utilities System Evaluation Report by Water Works Engineers that there is a 3,767 gpm firm capacity deficit in the JU 11-128 public water system. These regions are located to the northwest, adjacent to Queen Creek, and represent the most densely populated area of the JU system. Demand in regions 1 &2 consists of 88% of the billed customer water use by volume in the 11-128 system. System interconnection from the Queen Creek water system to the JU system is desired to improve the reliability of water service to customers.”

“We have sent a draft Letter of Intent to Queen Creek to identify possible terms for an interconnect agreement. Queen Creek is working on a response to the LOI. Once we have that we will send to ACC staff to review.”

Later updates from EPCOR offered this statement: “Last fall, EPCOR’s assessment of the Johnson water supply system located a capacity deficit in densely populated portions of the service area near Queen Creek. We’ve identified solutions that will bring in additional water supply capacity, and we’re also in active conversations with the Town of Queen Creek to possibly construct an interconnection between the Johnson and Queen Creek water systems. We look forward to seeing the Town’s response to our proposed letter of intent.”

San Tan Times is not indicating that Queen Creek should or should not interconnect. What we do see is questionable information being pushed out to the community. Below is Johnson Utilities press release that was posted on their facebook account on March 26th.