Incident Took Place At The Morning Sun Lift Station

EPCOR provided the following statement regarding the recent Sanitary Sewer Overflow and the cause of the problem:

The Johnson Utilities team was notified of a sewer overflow early Monday morning (7:30 am) at the Morning Suns lift station – crews and equipment were dispatched immediately and the overflow was contained and cleanup was completed within the hour. The area was immediately disinfected that day.

The overflow started at some point between midnight and 7 am, when wastewater flows are at their lowest. Because this lift station serves a large number of customers and often experiences floating debris caused by fats, oils and greases that are flushed down the drain, it is cleaned out every two weeks. It was scheduled to be cleaned on Monday – it appears that the debris kept the floats designed to monitor the levels from working properly.

In our fall 2018 Engineering Assessment, a lack of remote-monitoring alarm systems at all lift stations was identified as a critical gap and placed as a top-priority item. We have been working on it since that time and all of the equipment has been installed. We’re in the final stages of activating and testing the software and programming at all lift stations and expect to be done this week.

This comes after Johnson Utilities sent out a press release questioning another Utilities capabilities while attempting to tout their own abilities. As EPCOR continues to make progress on this massive undertaking, this recent incident highlights the inability for the struggling utility to upkeep their own infrastructure. Sanitary Sewer Overflows have been an ongoing problem for the Utility as highlighted during the ACC hearings and reported in AZCentral “The company has more sewer overflows than much larger wastewater operations in cities such as Tucson, Mesa and Scottsdale. It is second in the state only to the largest city, Phoenix.”