Phoenix Shutting Off Supply of Trucked Water to New River & Desert Hills

For 15 years, In&Out Magazine has been the definitive source of “Everything that’s going on” in and out of the community. We thank you, our readers, as well as the businesses that support the magazine through advertising, for that opportunity. But with little going on, and many businesses suspending or canceling their ads during the Covid-19 crisis, we are suspending publication of the magazine and web sites for the month of May. 


UPDATES: The situation faced by rural residents has changed since the publication of this article. Click here for the latest articles on this topic. The article below remains as originally published.

Water trucks often fill up at this hydrant near Tramonto. In&Out Staff Photo

The City of Phoenix will no longer allow commercial haulers to fill from city hydrants for delivery outside city limits, creating concern among Desert Hills and New River residents who rely on periodic delivery of potable water.

City officials say the water was never intended to be delivered for residential use outside city limits, and they were unaware commercial water haulers were using city hydrants as a supply source for non-city residents until about three years ago.  

Local water-hauling companies were notified in a city letter June 1 that as of Jan. 1, 2018, hydrant permits will be issued only for temporary in-city construction projects; temporary city-approved short-term uses, and for county dust control permit holders.

Prices Could Triple

Desert Hills and New River residents could end up paying double or triple the cost as water hauling companies are forced to fill up elsewhere.

City hydrants exist primarily to fight fires. But in accordance with city code, Phoenix had permitted hydrant access to commercial water haulers for delivery to construction sites within the city.

“When the city first discovered this [unauthorized] water-hauling practice, we started issuing temporary permits to allow us time to assess the scope of this hauling, analyze its risks to the city, and develop a gradual phase-out,” according to a Phoenix Water Services Department statement provided to In&Out. Under the new permit system, the city determined how many water haulers were using hydrants for potable-water delivery.

Brad Phelps, owner of Crystal Creek Water, whose company delivers to a large number of residents affected by the change, said in a phone interview that while residents are not in jeopardy of losing water delivery to their homes, the water will have to be trucked in from Peoria and Scottsdale, which could double or triple the cost to homeowners.  

Damon Bruns, owner of Dynamite Water, expects rising costs to his business and his customers. “We’re at the mercy of getting the water from a municipal source, and these customers are at the mercy of us,” Bruns told In&Out. “What are these folks [without water] going to do long-term?”

The City’s Concerns

But Phoenix officials say providing water to these hauling companies is unfair to city taxpayers and poses risk.

“The communities served by water-hauling companies do not pay their fair share for the building and maintaining of water and wastewater infrastructure, yet they are reaping the benefits,” according to the statement. “These communities do not have customer accounts, do not pay service and environmental charges, and are not directly billed by the city. And the city has no intention to ‘inherit’ these communities as part of our service area, which would cost our ratepayers millions of dollars in infrastructure costs to serve.”

The city also cited the need to protect water supplies and raised water-quality concerns regarding safety following transport.

Alan Muller, New River/Desert Hills Community Association president, estimates 1,000-1,500 rural residents are affected by the change, adding that he is still hopeful a resolution can be reached.

A community meeting at the Daisy Mountain Fire Station in New River in July drew a crowd of about 80 concerned residents, and Muller is working to organize a meeting with the city before hosting another discussion forum with residents. Discuss This Article on Facebook >>>


Help Save Our Community
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and even more so this community. Supporting local businesses during this crisis can help keep our community economically viable. Please strongly consider supporting the businesses below, In&Out Magazine's display advertisers, as well as those in the Classifieds section of the magazine (see the full April 9 issue in PDF form). Many of these businesses have been part of the fabric of this community for two decades, not just serving our professional, service and retail needs but stepping up to support local charities, sports teams and so much more. Tip: If you know you’ll need to schedule a service, consider contacting a local business you trust and paying the standard fee for the deferred service. The links below go to their web sites.

Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates • 602-242-4592
Anthem Senior Living • 602-909-9550
Appliance Pros • 502-501-5501
Business Network of Anthem • 623-455-9630
Carroll Law Firm • 623-551-9366
Century 21 Real Estate - Jeff Huff • 623-223-1221
Creative Home Enhancements • 623-551-5409
Daisy Dream Homes Real Estate • 623-879-3277
Daisy Mountain Dentistry • 623-551-5250
Desert Foothills Air Conditioning • 480-595-0938
Edward Jones • 623-551-0523
Element Dental Centers • 623-551-5555
Hand & Stone Massage • 623-551-6602
Kendallwood Design • 602-252-3844
Kodiak Roofing • 602-501-7717
Luv My PC • 480-703-6609
Merrill Gardens • 623-201-4881
North Valley Water Solutions • 623-551-0515
Preferred Business of Anthem • 623-551-0523 
Prickett Realty • 623-551-8111
ProSkill Services • 623-551-7473
RE/MAX Professionals - Mike Higgins • 623-640-7502
Rise Above Remodeling • 623-551-2013
Soft Water Plus • 623-551-7383
SonoranScapes Landscaping • 602-842-9948
State Farm Insurance - Justin Simons • 623-551-3700
Storage at Anthem • 623-226-8634
Sunset Cabinets • 623-687-6579
Thompson & McGinnis Attorneys at Law • 602-952-2666
Titan Tree Care • 623-444-8448
Titan Pest Control • 623-879-8700
Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical • 623-551-6688

For more local businesses, see In&Out Magazine Classifed Ads >>>  
 
Karen Goveia
NoPho resident Karen Goveia joined In&Out Publications in 2009 and is managing editor. Goveia is a Chicagoland native with two decades of experience in the news industry, starting as a reporter for a chain of weekly papers serving Chicago’s suburbs and later serving as managing editor within the chain.
Karen Goveia on Email

Karen Goveia

NoPho resident Karen Goveia joined In&Out Publications in 2009 and is managing editor. Goveia is a Chicagoland native with two decades of experience in the news industry, starting as a reporter for a chain of weekly papers serving Chicago’s suburbs and later serving as managing editor within the chain.

karengoveia has 116 posts and counting.See all posts by karengoveia