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 treated, the A+ effluent water is delivered to users or recharged using onsite recharge and basins.
Today, EPCOR notified the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) that some of the fully treated effluent produced by this plant would need to be discharged to the Queen Creek wash beginning the evening of Wednesday, February 20. EPCOR completed construction of an additional one-mile effluent line on January 25 to allow access to additional farm land for effluent disposal. However, the discharge is necessary because recent and upcoming rainy weather in the area has caused higher-than-usual effluent levels – onsite basins are full and current users do not have the capacity to take additional water in wet weather conditions.
Permit-required water sampling confirmed that there is no adverse impact to public or environmental health, that the fully treated water meets public health requirements for A+ treated effluent, and is consistent with water that is routinely used by golf courses and other public areas. ADEQ was notified in advance of the discharge.
EPCOR became Interim Manager of Johnson Utilities on August 31, 2018. As confirmed by an October 2018 engineering analysis, the Pecan wastewater treatment facility is in critical need of infrastructure improvements and is at, and at times over, capacity. EPCOR has been working since last fall to find additional uses for the extra fully treated effluent this plant produces and has submitted a discharge permit application for this plant to ADEQ.