A message to Johnson Utilities Customers


On August 31 management and operations of Johnson Utilities was transferred to EPCOR, effective immediately.


We recognize that the past months have been challenging, both for customers and employees. Under EPCOR's leadership, we are focused on the road ahead and the critical work that needs to be done to address operational and infrastructure issues, to ensure clean, safe and reliable utility services, and to restore Johnson Utilities customers' trust.


EPCOR is fully committed to bringing our operational, engineering and customer service expertise to Johnson Utilities and to you, and we appreciate your patience as we focus on the work ahead.

water • purity • life 

A CUSTOMER UPDATE FROM EPCOR 


February 12, 2019

Community Open House with EPCOR – Public Welcome
EPCOR is committed to keeping customers up to date as we improve operations and infrastructure in the Johnson Utilities system, and to answer your questions about what’s coming next. We’re hosting a community open house on February 27 where we’ll cover these issues in depth for customers and the public. We hope you’ll join us. 

 Wednesday, February 27, 2019
6 to 7:30 pm
Central Arizona College – San Tan Campus
3736 E. Bella Vista Road, San Tan Valley, AZ 85143


Infrastructure Improvement Plan
EPCOR has developed a three-year plan to address long-term infrastructure needs in the Johnson Utilities service area, which we submitted to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) in December. The plan includes multiple individual projects that together will ensure both water and wastewater systems are equipped to provide reliable and safe service that’s fully compliant with industry standards.
We want to make sure these improvements are up and running as soon as possible. Toward that end, we’re now developing cost estimates and schedules, and prioritizing the projects that will begin in 2019. Key projects that will be started and/or completed in 2019 include:

         Equipping San Tan Well #1 and tying it into the distribution system

·         Installing ion exchange treatment at the Main Yard along Hunt Highway

·         Installing reverse osmosis treatment at Morning Sun Farms

·         Rebuilding and expanding the Pecan Water Treatment Plant headworks to improve operations and reduce odor and overflow issues

 
Water Quality and Supply  

 We’re moving ahead quickly to install ion exchange (IX) devices at targeted drinking water wells that have been inoperable because of high nitrate levels. IX technology is designed to remove excess nitrates and restore drinking water to safe standards with little to no water wasted in the treatment process. Moving these wells into production is part of our overall strategy to ensure an adequate supply of clean drinking water to Johnson Utilities customers during the summer high-use season.   
Additionally, we’re checking off the operational and regulatory tasks needed to bring San Tan Well #1 online. The pump at the well has been tested successfully and we’re moving ahead with design. We appreciate the help of the San Tan Heights Homeowners Association as we get this high-quality water source functioning.

 Hunt Highway Project Completed

Last fall, EPCOR cooperated with Pinal County to ensure that the Hunt Highway widening project would not cause service interruptions to Johnson Utilities customers, and to help prevent delays to this important transportation project. We moved the sewer main line that paralleled the road, and installed a temporary line that provided continuous service while the permanent line was relocated.

We’re pleased to report that our part of this project is now finished. The new, permanent main line is in place and the temporary line has been removed. The county expects the highway widening project itself to be completed by May.

Customer Care

We’ve recently upgraded Johnson Utilities’ customer care phone service. Now when customers call after regular business hours to report emergency outages or other issues, they’ll speak to a live person trained to take and dispatch service calls. This improvement will help the customer care team respond more quickly to service requests and enhance the overall customer experience. 

Rate Case Update

 In December 2017, prior to EPCOR’s appointment as interim manager, Johnson Utilities filed a formal application with the ACC to increase rates for water and wastewater services. The application (or “rate case”) was on hold through 2018 as EPCOR took over management of the company.

Johnson Utilities recently requested a withdrawal of the formal application. EPCOR supports this request, as much of the information in that application is outdated and a more accurate accounting of system-wide capital expenses and finances is needed. ACC staff also supports the request. A recommended order on the request will be issued by the Administrative Law Judge presiding over the case for ACC consideration – if Johnson Utilities’ request is approved, we expect a new filing to happen within the next 18 months, and no later than May 2020.

How to Contact Us

24/7 Bill Payment:                                                                            1-844-567-2502                                
Online:                                                                                             www.johnsonutilities.com
Customer service & billing inquiries:                                                480-987-9870
Emergencies:                                                                                   480-987-9870 (press 6) or 480-887-0648   


A CUSTOMER UPDATE FROM EPCOR

January 23, 2019

 Looking Ahead to Summer Water Needs

 The warm weather will be here before we know it, and the EPCOR team is focused on incremental solutions that will add up to increased capacity to meet higher water demand this summer.  
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.
We’re also pressing ahead on efforts to bring back into service those drinking water (potable) wells that have been out of commission due to high nitrate levels. Throughout December and January, the team made progress on the design, location, and installation of ion exchange (IX) technology that will remove nitrates from water at these wells. Reverse osmosis (RO) is another technology for removing nitrates from water, and we’ve set up a temporary RO unit to treat well water at Johnson’s Morning Sun Farms plant as needed in the coming months.

 SanTan Well #1 and Your Water Supply

 SanTan Well #1 is one of the drinking water wells we’re working to bring online. It’s an existing, but currently unused, resource in the Johnson Utilities system. This is a source of quality water that can be made operational relatively quickly, and we are moving forward with the access agreements and other tasks needed to bring this well online.

 The first part of the process is to test the water in the well to make sure it meets drinking water requirements. Our team began that task on Monday, January 21, and you’ll see work happening at the site along Hunt Highway. Testing the pump requires releasing some water into an adjacent greenbelt/stormwater retention area.


If the tests go well, we’ll prepare to bring the well online and begin serving the community by March as water usage starts to pick up again for summer.

 Pecan Treated Effluent Release


The Johnson Utilities Pecan treatment plant collects and treats wastewater to an A+ effluent standard fully compliant with public health requirements for recycled water – a common source of irrigation for golf courses, parks, farms, and similar uses. Once the treatment process is completed, the treated effluent (recycled water) is delivered to users or recharged using onsite recharge and basins.

The Pecan wastewater treatment headworks, the first stage of the treatment process, is in critical need of infrastructure improvements and is scheduled to begin design this year.

Due to the recent rainy weather, more than 15 million gallons of fully treated effluent had to be released into the Queen Creek wash between January 9 and 15. Before the water was released, samples were taken to ensure that it met A+ treated effluent standards.

 EPCOR will be continuing the controlled release of recycled water from the Pecan treatment plant to the Queen Creek wash as long as rainy weather pushes the storage basins to capacity.

 The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has confirmed that there has been no threat to the Johnson Utilities drinking water supply, and no untreated wastewater has been released.

 Until the capacity issue is resolved – and rainy weather subsides – we will continue to use this safe and effective means of discharging excess effluent as needed.

 

Enhancing Operations

As part of EPCOR’s ongoing efforts to improve wastewater operations, we’ve identified a need for more supervisory staff in wastewater collections and wastewater treatment operations. Two of these positions have been filled, and active recruitment is underway for three more.  
Additionally, EPCOR is working with the Johnson Utilities team to enhance operational structure and efficiency, starting with the most pressing concerns first. In recent weeks we’ve focused on optimizing accounting procedures as well as fair pay, vacation time, and working conditions for employees – one more way we’re working to boost the quality of the Johnson organization as a whole. 

Section 11 Plant

Replacing the Section 11 wastewater treatment facility is a top priority in EPCOR’s three-year capital expansion plan, recently submitted to the Arizona Corporation Commission. Design and permitting for the plant is expected to begin in 2019 to bring the new plant online in 2021.

 In the interim, we’re continuing to address immediate needs at the Section 11 facility. Efforts are underway to divert flow away from the plant, and we’re exploring ways of optimizing treatment onsite in the short term. Today the Section 11 plant is closer to operating standards for the interim period while a replacement plant is being constructed. This represents good progress on an important aspect of EPCOR’s work with Johnson Utilities.

 An Update on Sanitary Sewer Overflows

Two sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) occurred on December 22 and 23. These incidents were small and at no time was there a threat to human health or the environment. EPCOR reported these incidents to ADEQ promptly, and we’ve installed alarm systems to immediately notify the operations team when a lift station is at capacity or not working correctly.

It’s probably no coincidence that the SSOs occurred around the holidays when people often use more water, cook more, and generally put added strain on their drains and pipes. Customers can do a lot to prevent sewer overflows. Please remember not to put any fats, oils or grease (“FOG”) down your sink drains, and never flush any products other than toilet paper.   

How to Contact Us

24/7 Bill Payment:                                                                     1-844-567-2502                                
Online:                                                                                      www.johnsonutilities.com
Customer service & billing inquiries:                                         480-987-9870
Emergencies:                                                                            480-987-9870 (press 6) or 480-887-0648   

 A CUSTOMER UPDATE FROM EPCOR

January 12, 2019 (Updated January 16, 2019)


Release of Fully Treated A+ Effluent from the Johnson Utilities Pecan Treatment Plant

The Johnson Utilities Pecan treatment plant collects and treats wastewater to an A+ effluent standard consistent with irrigation water used by golf courses, public parks and other similar uses across Arizona. Once the treatment process is completed, the A+ effluent water is delivered to users or recharged using onsite recharge and basins.


As EPCOR has previously stated and as has been confirmed by the October 2018 engineering analysis, the Pecan wastewater treatment facility is in critical need of infrastructure improvements and is at and, at times, over capacity. We have been working since last fall to find additional uses for the extra fully treated effluent this plant produces, and have notified ADEQ that we are in the process of submitting a discharge permit application for this plant.

Earlier this week, EPCOR notified ADEQ that because the onsite basins were full and the current users didn’t have any additional capacity, we would need to discharge some of the effluent to Queen Creek wash beginning on Wednesday, January 9. Permit-required water sampling confirmed that there was no adverse impact to public or environmental health.

We appreciate ADEQ’s partnership as we continue to improve the Johnson Utilities systems, and we also appreciate their responsibility to protect public health. However, it is important to note that the effluent was tested prior to ADEQ’s January 11, 2019 news release and there is no cause for concern. This fully treated water is the same water that is routinely used by golf courses and other public areas. In addition, the release stated that this discharge may have been related to increased flows from winter visitors. This discharge of fully treated effluent is the result of recent rains that caused higher than usual effluent levels.

We want to reiterate, again, our full commitment to the Johnson Utilities systems and the communities of Florence, Queen Creek and San Tan Valley. 

A CUSTOMER UPDATE FROM EPCOR


December 20, 2018


From all of us at the EPCOR and Johnson Utilities team, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season. Of course, we’ll continue to work through the holiday season to keep your water and wastewater service running efficiently.

Don’t Forget FOG!
The holidays usually mean a lot of cooking. Don’t forget to protect your plumbing and help prevent drain clogs and sewer backups.
Wrap and toss. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) can easily solidify and clog pipes. Instead of putting them down your sink or garbage disposal, wrap them and toss them in the trash.
Watch what you flush. Don’t flush anything but toilet paper down the toilet. Even products marked “flushable” can cause major backups requiring expensive repairs.

Protect Your Pipes from Cold Snaps
In very cold weather, it’s a good idea to take precautions to protect your pipes from freezing. Pipes closest to the cold are most susceptible so you should insulate any exterior water pipes. If your pipes do freeze, using a hair dryer is a safe way to warm them up.


Extra Support for Your Wastewater Service During the Holiday Season
Preventing sewer backups continues to be a priority. Because the holidays can put a little extra pressure on wastewater systems, since Thanksgiving we’ve been sending extra maintenance personnel to the main wastewater station to prevent problems by managing excess wastewater flow. You might see crew trucks in front of the Johnson Utilities facility on Hunt Highway – they’re working hard for you!

 
Backflow Devices and Why they’re Now Required for Some Customers
“Backflow devices” are now required for certain new meters connected to the Johnson Utilities system. Here’s what you need to know:
Federal, state and local regulations require potable (drinking) water leaving a treatment plant to meet standards for quality and safety. Once this water leaves a plant, it can become contaminated if it comes in contact, or “cross connects,” with non-potable liquid, solids or gas that could enter the treated drinking water distribution system.
Backflow devices are barriers that keep non-potable substances out of the drinking water system. To protect public health, the Arizona Administrative Code authorizes utilities to require customers to install approved backflow devices when there is a risk of cross connection. We’ve identified customers who should already have backflow devices installed, but do not. In addition, a backflow device is now required for any new meter connected to the system where there is a risk of cross connection.
The State of Arizona also requires backflow devices to be properly maintained and tested annually, and authorizes utilities to monitor this customer responsibility. All customers affected by this change will receive a letter with clear instructions on what to do to comply with these requirements.   

What’s Happening at Pecan?
Some customers have reported odors in the vicinity of the Pecan wastewater treatment plant. The operations team located a malfunctioning motor at the plant which required a “wet well” to be open temporarily, likely causing some of these issues. That malfunction has been corrected, and the wet well is now closed. The team has also identified longer-term needs at the Pecan plant, which will be part of the improvements expected to take place in 2019.  

Limitations on New Meters and Ensuring Compliance

On November 7, the Arizona Corporation Commission (the state entity responsible for regulating utilities) ordered a partial moratorium on new service connections in the Johnson Utilities system, allowing for a total of 28 new connections per month. These temporary limitations have been recommended to protect service for existing customers, as well as the safety of the system in the near term. There are limited exceptions, primarily for new developments where additional hook-ups will not adversely impact current customers. We are carefully monitoring and evaluating all new requests to stay within these guidelines.

Creating Management Areas and Improving System Reliability
As part of overall efforts to enhance service and operations at Johnson Utilities, we have divided the total service territory into a set of distinct management areas. This will help improve operations, manage and plan for water resources, and implement infrastructure improvements. This change also impacts where new meters are allowed.
We’re also improving the system’s reliability by identifying and procuring an adequate supply of critical spare pumps, motors, and other parts. This effort will allow for faster responses in case of equipment malfunctions.  

Upgrading Customer Service
The customer care team is working to improve phone services so that customers can report emergency outages, sewer overflows, or other issues to a live representative after regular business hours. This upgrade is expected to be in place early in the new year.
Additionally, meter-reading dates are being revised to move from a two-route to a six-route schedule, increasing efficiency and helping to lower customer service wait times and frustrations. Per state regulations, meters are read every 25 to 35 days. If the meter-read date changes, billing and due dates for bills adjust accordingly.
As we make this timing change, your next bill might be lower or higher based on the new date your meter is read. After that, your bill will be much the same as before. Please be assured that your rates are not changing, and you are not paying more for your service.

Three-Year Capital Program Presented to the Arizona Corporation Commission
On December 12, EPCOR submitted a three-year capital plan to the Arizona Corporation Commission for roughly $102 million in improvements to the Johnson Utilities infrastructure. The plan includes significant improvements for both water and wastewater systems that will equip them to provide safe, reliable service in line with industry standards.
Most of the work will be done in 2019 and 2020 to realize improvements as quickly as possible. Major projects proposed for 2019 include starting work on the new Copper Basin wastewater treatment facility (which will ultimately replace the Section 11 plant), and making critical improvements at lift stations, the Pecan wastewater treatment facility, and the Bella Vista, Promenade and Morning Suns Farms water treatment facilities.

How to Contact Us
24/7 Bill Payment:                                 1-844-567-2502
Online:                                                 www.johnsonutilities.com
Customer service & billing inquiries:     480-987-9870
Emergencies:                                        480-987-9870 (press 6) or 480-887-0648   



            A CUSTOMER UPDATE FROM EPCOR

December 10, 2018

As Interim Manager of Johnson Utilities, EPCOR is working hard to address issues that matter most to customers. We’re providing regular updates here and on www.johnsonutilities.com on improvements underway.

Help Us Protect Your Wastewater System
The holidays are here, and there’s a good chance you’re cooking more than usual or entertaining houseguests. Now is a smart time to review tips for preventing drain clogs and sewer backups, many of which can start at home.
Avoid putting fats, oils, and grease (FOG) down your sink or garbage disposal. Once inside your system, these materials can easily solidify and clog pipes.
Skip flushing anything other than bath tissue down the toilet. This includes paper towels, feminine supplies, baby wipes, dental floss, etc. Even products marked “flushable” can cause major backups requiring expensive repairs.

What We’re Doing to Clean and Maintain Your Wastewater System

Sewer backups are a priority and we work immediately to address issues when a customer calls. But we’re also laser focused on getting to the root of the problem and putting long-term solutions in place. We’re fixing valves that are broken or not in the correct position and we’re actively cleaning out neighborhood mains where grease and other debris, like flushable wipes and towels, have blocked pipes.
Wastewater systems are gravity fed and need a little help from lift stations to move things along when elevation changes or a lot of waste is flowing through the pipe. In some areas, too many pipes send waste to one lift station. To prevent overflows, we added additional measures to keep the pumps working. This is especially important when we’re cooking holiday meals and entertaining friends and family.
What about Section 11? More wastewater is being sent to the Section 11 wastewater treatment plant than it can handle, so we’re focused on short-term solutions to relieve the strain, like diverting some flow to other treatment facilities and making temporary changes that could increase the plant’s efficiency. The long-term solution continues to be replacing Section 11 with a new, mechanical treatment facility.

The Hunt Highway Widening Project and Our Role

There’s lots of activity happening along Hunt Highway where the County is widening this important stretch of transportation infrastructure. We’re doing our part to help, by moving the existing sewer main so that it is buried in the right location and deep enough to protect it. A temporary pipeline was installed along the road to make sure the project didn’t interrupt your service while the permanent line was being relocated. Our work on the sewer line relocation should be complete by the end of the year.

How We’re Managing New Meter Requests
A recent analysis of Johnson Utilities’ infrastructure found that the system needs substantial improvements before it can adequately meet current and future building development in the service territory. For this reason, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted on November 7 to temporarily limit the number of water and wastewater hookups granted to developers to 28 per month. The limit is sometimes being referred to as a “partial moratorium”, or a “stay”.
Different areas within the Johnson Utilities system have different water and sewer capacities, and the ACC order specifically directs how new meter requests should be treated, depending on where the site requested is located. The area served by the Section 11 wastewater plant, for example, cannot accommodate new sewer hookups until an infrastructure solution is in place, while this same area (area #3) has water infrastructure that is able to accommodate new growth.
Since the ACC decision that gave direction on how new meter requests should be treated, we’ve worked directly with each homebuilder to ensure that the ACC’s directions on new meter hookups are followed. We carefully review every new meter request and have developed an application process and a set of criteria, including geographic verification by the developer that the site requested falls within an area approved by the November 7 ACC order, that each new meter applicant must complete before we approved and proceed with any new meter hookup.
EPCOR will continue working on improvements and will request areas to be taken off the moratorium as sufficient infrastructure is put in place. We expect the ACC to revisit the issue again in six months – roughly May 2019. In the meantime, we’re adhering closely to the limited number of new meters allowed per month.

Keeping Your Water Safe
Certain Johnson Utilities drinking water (potable) wells have been unavailable for use, due to high nitrate levels. These wells are important and we’ve been working on solutions that will bring them back into service, ensuring your water is safe and it’s there in time for the hot summer months.
Nitrate treatment: We’re designing an Ion Exchange unit for Johnson Ranch wells #4 and #5, which will remove nitrates from the water. We expect this solution to be in service by April 2019. We’re developing a similar solution for Morning Suns Farm.
RO systems: We’re also redeploying two trailer-mounted RO systems, which will allow high-nitrate wells to be used and blended as necessary until a permanent solution can be established. 

 Water Pressure Progress
Making Progress: We’re installing VFD motor controllers, air relief valves where none previously existed, and conducting “valve sweeps” to verify that valves controlling the flow of water are operating correctly. We also continue to use pressure loggers to get to more detail on water-flow patterns and issues – this data helps us make immediate operating system adjustments in place. The longer-term solution continues to include establishing “pressure zones” to manage water pressure according to consumer demand – this will be part of the longer-term capital plan.
Remember: If you have an issue, call customer service at 480-987-9870. We need as much information as possible to put pressure loggers in the right locations, record the details for a week or two, and better pinpoint the issue and put a solution in place.

Discussions Continue on a Possible Interconnect with Queen Creek
Summer isn’t that far away, and that’s when demand for water hits a high point. We continue to work with the Town of Queen Creek on a possible interconnect that would help meet the highest water demand days for next summer. Together we’ve agreed on a location where the two systems could be interconnected and how much water Queen Creek could send to the Johnson Utilities system if needed. There are still some details to be worked through, and we appreciate the Town’s partnership.

Contact Us
24/7 Bill Payment:                                     1-844-567-2502
Online:                                                      www.johnsonutilities.com
Customer service & billing inquiries:         480-987-9870
Emergencies:                                            480-987-9870 (press 6) or 480-887-0648   


A CUSTOMER UPDATE FROM EPCOR



October 18, 2018

It’s been 48 days since EPCOR assumed management and operations of Johnson Utilities, and the team has moved quickly to come up to speed and to address immediate priorities, focusing on water quality and pressure, preventing sewer overflows, and customer service and billing accuracy.

There’s much to be done, and we appreciate your continued patience as we stay focused on the temporary and permanent changes that will improve your water and wastewater service.

Customer Service and Billing

Communications, training and billing accuracy are priorities. Customer service agents are undergoing comprehensive training to be able to provide you with helpful information and a higher level of service.

We’ve also completed a detailed audit of the Johnson Utilities billing system, verifying that bills are calculated correctly according to current rates for service. We’ll continue to verify accuracy each month.

We’ve also heard your concerns about needing information about things that might impact your service. Customers aren’t always at home when the team stops by on a service call or to notify you of a planned outage. Now when a team member stops by they will leave a door hanger to let you know that we were there and the reason for our visit. We’re also working on helpful tips and tools for customers, like how to troubleshoot for leaks. We’ll be updating the website as these are developed – continue to go to www.johnsonutilities.com for updates.

Tax Refunds for Customers

In Decision #76889, the Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC) approved a reduction to rates and a one-time credit to reflect the new tax laws that went into effect in December 2017, and to remove other income taxes from rates. The rate reduction will become effective as of the October billing cycle that starts on the 25th, and the one-time credit will appear on your October bill only. A detailed explanation will arrive in your October bill and will be available on www.johnsonutilities.com.

Engineering Review and Analysis

Separate from EPCOR’s role as Interim Manager, EPCOR was contracted to complete an Engineering Review and Analysis for the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). A draft of the study, a comprehensive evaluation of the assets and needs of the water and wastewater systems and facilities that provide your service, was provided to the ACC on October 5 and docketed by the ACC on October 10.

This report will be the basis of an infrastructure improvement plan necessary to address issues affecting your service. The report identified three priority areas, a combined $177 million in capital investment. Priority 1 projects – the most critical water and wastewater work – represent $98 million of that total.

Included in that assessment is a recommendation that the Section 11 wastewater plant be replaced with a new, larger plant with the right technology and design to provide the level of service that the Johnson Utilities service area needs. The Section 11 wastewater plant that collects and treats wastewater is currently operating at or above the capacity it was designed to handle. Building a plant will take time – several years. In the meantime, we’re focused on immediate improvements that can be made to protect your service, like re-directing wastewater flows to other treatment facilities.

Water Pressure Concerns

EPCOR’s team remains focused on water pressure concerns, prioritizing those areas and calls where water pressure dips below 20 psi.

Here’s what we’re doing: The operations team is investigating calls as they come in to determine where the issues are originating. In addition to identifying booster stations that aren’t properly sized to accommodate current water demand, we’ve found closed or broken valves that are meant control the flow of water. To help us get to the root of the issue, we’re using pressure loggers to get more detail on the water flow patterns. Part of the long-term solution will be to establish zones to manage pressure and infrastructure improvements – right now we’re making immediate repairs where we can.

How you can help: If your water pressure is low, call customer service at 480-987-9870. We need as much information as possible – location, the time of the issue, description of the pressure. With that information, we can move the pressure loggers to the right locations, record the pressure for a week or two, and better pinpoint the issue and how to resolve it.

Preventing Against Sewer Overflows

Sanitary sewer overflows remain a critical priority. The engineering evaluation identified short- and long-term priorities for the system, and our operations team is working on immediate changes that can be made. For example, some lift stations receive wastewater from multiple areas, more than they were designed to handle. Redirecting some of this wastewater to other treatment facilities is one of the solutions we’re looking at.

Until permanent infrastructure improvements can be put in place, our operations, engineering, water quality and environmental compliance experts are closely monitoring the wastewater operations.

Hiring and Training

EPCOR leaders, from operations and customer service to rates and communications, are working directly with Johnson Utilities team members to provide your service. This includes hands-on training and hiring qualified operators to provide your service. EPCOR is hiring the following positions for Johnson Utilities:

Water Operator Foreman
Water Distribution Foreman
Wastewater Plant Foreman
Wastewater Collection Foreman

Visit www.johnsonutilities.com for job descriptions and how to apply.

How to Contact Us

24/7 Bill Payment:                                 1-844-567-2502
Online:                                                   www.johnsonutilities.com
Customer service & billing inquiries:     480-987-9870
Emergencies:                                         480-987-9870 (press 6) or 480-887-0648   September 19, 2018




A CUSTOMER UPDATE FROM EPCOR



Johnson Utilities transferred its management and operations to EPCOR USA on August 31, and our team has been working quickly to come up to speed on the operations and what needs to be done.

We recognize that the past months have been challenging. We’re focused on the road ahead and the critical work that needs to be done to address operational and infrastructure issues and to ensure clean, safe, reliable service. We do not take this responsibility lightly.

First and foremost, EPCOR is committed to being a good neighbor, a community partner, a quality employer and provider of clean drinking water that meets or exceeds all quality standards. For Johnson Utilities customers, our immediate priorities are: 

  • Ensuring all drinking water meets or exceeds all drinking water standards.
  • Putting proper safeguards in place to prevent future sewer overflows.
  • Addressing water pressure concerns.
  • Ensuring that Johnson Utilities customers get fair and accurate bills.   


We have the operational, engineering and customer service expertise to make a difference. Team members from EPCOR’s Operations, Engineering, Environmental Compliance, Human Resources, Health & Safety, Customer Service and Public & Government Affairs groups are partnering and collaborating with Johnson Utilities’ employees and we appreciate your patience as we tackle the important work ahead.

We’re identifying immediate improvements that can be made in the first 3-6 month, as well as planning for longer-term improvements all focusing on safety and customer service issues. Some changes can be made quickly, while long-term infrastructure solutions will take a little longer. We know it’s not easy, but we’re asking for your patience.

The bottom line is this – we’re focused on getting in there and making a difference.

Introducing EPCOR – Community Open House

It’s important that you get to know us and learn more about what’s being done to improve your service. Please join EPCOR, Supervisor Goodman, Rep. Townsend, Rep. Shope and Rep. Cook for a community meeting:​

Thursday, October 11, 2018
6 to 7:30 pm
Central Arizona College – SanTan Campus
3736 E Bella Vista Road, San Tan Valley, AZ 85143

Engineering Review and Analysis

Separate from EPCOR’s role as Interim Manager, EPCOR is conducting a 60-day Engineering Review and Analysis for the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). This study, a comprehensive evaluation of the assets and needs of the water and wastewater systems and facilities that provide your service, is on schedule to be provided to the ACC at the end of September. It will be an important step in addressing the issues affecting your service.​

Water Pressure Concerns

Customers are reporting low water pressure at their homes. Rest assured, EPCOR’s team is actively looking into this and we’re prioritizing calls where water pressure is dipping below 20 psi. ​

Here’s what we’re doing: Our engineering team is reviewing the entire system to determine customer usage patterns and system capacity. We’ve identified several booster stations that aren’t properly sized to accommodate water demand, and we’re establishing zones to manage pressure. Infrastructure work will be needed to put permanent solutions in place, and that’s going to take time. ​

Here’s where we need your help: If your water pressure is low, call customer service at 480-987-9870. We need as much information as possible – location, the time of the issue, how bad was the pressure. With that information, we can put a pressure logger in place and record the pressure for a week or two so that we can better pinpoint the issue and how to resolve it.​

Preventing Against Sewer Overflows

We’ve identified many of the same concerns that the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) previously did. Our team is evaluating the facilities to determine the best solution for both the short- and long-term, prioritizing safety and customer service concerns.

Sanitary sewer overflows are a critical priority. The engineering evaluation will identify short- and long-term priorities for the system, and our operations team is working on immediate changes that can be made.

For example, Johnson Utilities utilizes 36 different lift stations to move wastewater through pressurized pipelines to different treatment facilities. During a recent lift station overflow, we discovered that the valves controlling the flow of the wastewater were not operating and that there were no air relief valves on the five-mile force main. We temporarily bypassed the system to make those immediate repairs.

Customer Service and Billing
EPCOR’s Director of Customer Operations and our Customer Care specialists are working directly with the Johnson Utilities team to address any billing or service concerns that are received, and we’re reviewing processes that are currently in place to determine what improvements should be made.​

Your Bill for Service: EPCOR is Interim Manager, but your bill for service will still come from and is due to Johnson Utilities because it remains a separate legal entity. EPCOR has direct oversight of the utility’s finances and will ensure that your bills and payments are processed appropriately.

Contacting us and Reporting Service Issues: Johnson Utilities provides your service, under EPCOR’s management and direction. To contact customer service or report a service issue, please call:

24/7 Bill Payment:                                      1-844-567-2502
Online:                                                 www.johnsonutilities.com
Customer service & billing inquiries:         480-987-9870
Emergencies:                       480-987-9870 (press 6) or 480-887-0648