Photo courtesy of EPCOR/ACC
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Anthem approves EPCOR’s revised water station site plan


Tara Alatorre
DESERT HILLS –  The Anthem Community Council (ACC) unanimously approved four items at its February Board of Directors meeting that will allow the private utility company EPCOR to revise, relocate and hopefully begin construction of the much anticipated water hauling station.  The new location is on the north side of Desert Hills Drive and about 500 feet east of 17th Avenue, which is just slightly moved from the original plan approved in December.

On February 22, the board of directors approved the revised site plan, approved the architectural design for the EPCOR water hauling station, and authorized staff to work with the appropriate parties to finalize and execute additional paperwork required to complete the station to expedite forward movement on the project.

“The Anthem Community Council worked diligently to ensure that all interested parties – including New River/Desert Hills residents and Anthem residents – had the opportunity to provide input to the process,” said ACC Board of Directors Roger Willis in a statement to The Foothills Focus. “The final result seems to be a win for everyone involved.”
According the revised agreement; the lease is for a 20-year term, EPCOR shall limit the filling stations/outlets to a maximum of two; the water may only be delivered to New River and Desert Hills homes that were constructed prior to Jan. 1, 2018; the water haulers can't use Anthem roadways unless delivering to an Anthem resident; the property must be fenced with controlled access and landscaping that meets the ACC’s requirements; and the site may be accessed seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition, EPCOR will be responsible for rerouting the Maricopa Trail to the north of the water hauling station ensuring the trail continues to be fully accessible, with EPCOR reimbursing Anthem for any costs related to the amendment.

“Maricopa County appreciates all the hard work and patience that went into creating this project,” said R.J. Cardin the Maricopa Parks and Recreation Director, in a letter to the EPCOR regarding the relocation of the trail.  “We believe the relocation of the trail meets the needs of both Maricopa County and the Parks and Recreation Department and also provides a safer trail alternative for the general public.”

The location change is a setback in the construction, which is unsettling for many residents who rely on water deliveries because their wells have dried up, or they are not connected to a municipal water source. The City of Phoenix will cut off water haulers access to fire hydrants for residential water deliveries on April 30, because the companies were using dust permits for home water deliveries, which is against code and infringing on the city’s 100-year water plan.

The original site plan was approved last December in cooperation with the ACC, so EPCOR could quickly build and operate a water hauling station for residents in Desert Hills and New River area.  However, over the last few weeks the plan was forced to be revised due to county-right-of-way requirements and the ACC expressing concerns about the size and location of the site.

Troy Day, EPCOR’s Vice President of Operations in Arizona, still believes the pipe can be completed in time for the April deadline before the water haulers' permits expire, which would potentially leave many residents in the community high and dry until the standpipe is built.

“We are trying to make everyone as happy as possible,” Day said in an interview.

EPCOR estimates that it will provide residents in the area with 50,000 gallons of water per day once the pipe is built, which would bring a minimum of ten trucks a day coming and going from the new station.