Pictured: A rendering of the Anthem standpipe water station.
Image courtesy of EPCOR

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EPCOR announces new completion date for Anthem water station


Tara Alatorre
ANTHEM – The private utility company EPCOR announced that delays in construction has pushed back the Anthem water station's completion date to July. The standpipe and water station was meant to provide potable water for hundreds in the communities of New River and Desert Hills by April 30.

“We are committed to have the station up and running for the water haulers by July 20,” said Troy Day, head of EPCOR operations in Arizona.

The City of Phoenix is set to cutoff water haulers access to city fire hydrants on April 30, which was a deadline that was set by the city so EPCOR would have enough time to build the Anthem water station and avoid a lapse in water deliveries for area residents. However, there were many unforeseen setbacks despite the project being expedited.

 “The reason it is not built now is because of the open space designation,” Day said in an interview last week.

First, there were right-of-way issues that needed to be resolved with Maricopa County, then the Army Corps of Engineers delayed the start of construction because the parcel of land was on a designated "National Area of Open Space (NAOS)."

Although, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) worked diligently with EPCOR and the community of Anthem, to remove the parcel of land as a NAOS, the process took time. 

"I just want to say how great it was working with the corps of engineers,” he said. "They really have been great and have gone above and beyond for us.  They helped resolve a major speedbump for this project to get off the ground, and they really didn’t have to.”

EPCOR just received notice from the ACOE about two weeks ago that the parcel was removed as a designated open space, and that construction could finally begin.

EPCOR could not give an official construction start date, but it did confirm that the water station would be built by the end of July.

The setback in the construction 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.

Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates met with the Phoenix City Council as well as the Phoenix Water Department Director last week to see if there will be another deadline extension for water haulers due to delays outside of EPCOR’s control.

“The involvement of the Army Corps of Engineers presented an unexpected delay to the completion of the standpipe,” said Supervisor Gates in an email.  “I will continue to work with all parties to facilitate the completion of the standpipe without further delay.”

At the time this article was written The Phoenix City Council and Mayor Greg Stanton’s office did not say if another deadline extension would be granted until the water station is completed in July.