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Hunter: Fugitive water sheriff in action


Recently, the Fugitive Water Sheriff from your Property Owners and Residents Association located and took action to eliminate a major fugitive water problem. This is his report.

For starters, “what is fugitive water and why is it of concern for the community of Sun City West?”

Fugitive water is basically water that escapes its intended use. This includes water on sidewalks in streets and onto your neighbors’ property, etc. It is lost and wasted.

Fugitive water is a concern for those of us living, playing and working in Sun City West because the source for this water is groundwater pumped from an aquifer lying hundreds of feet below the surface. As many of us know, this water source is a finite resource and it is being withdrawn faster than it can be recharged. Fugitive water simply compounds the problem.

The Story:

A major Sun City West water leak was recently reported and I thought it might be interesting to inform everyone of the sequence of events that took place to repair the problem. You think it’s easy?

Follow this if you can:

  1. A citizen walking his dog flagged down a Posse patrol car driving nearby.
  2. He reported a large water leak in a brushy area behind a parking lot for a medical clinic across from the hospital. He stated that it had been leaking for a long time.
  3. The Posse patrol reported this to the Posse dispatcher.
  4. The Posse dispatcher called the management company on record and it denied having anything to do with the property.
  5. The Posse dispatcher then called the PORA Water Committee chairman and provided some directions she had received.
  6. The next day I drove to the reported site and was unable to locate a leak.
  7. Later, with the assistance of the Posse dispatcher, the leak was located, deep into a brushy area, and it was huge.
  8. I took a short video and sent it along with directions to our water committee member from EPCOR.
  9. The next day a field supervisor from EPCOR contacted me to say they were investigating the leak.
  10. I drove to the site and was pleasantly surprised to learn EPCOR had already started the process of assessing the problem. There was a concern that shutting off the leak might also shut of water to the various nearby clinics.
  11. Later I revisited the site and all was quiet with the leak shut off. Thanks to EPCOR.
  12. Because I was unable to locate the responsible party for the water system where the leaks occurred, I continued to make more calls to learn if anyone might know of the situation just completed.
  13. I called another management company that directed me back to the first management company where I finally located a person in charge after only three calls. That person denied that they managed the property in question.
  14. I was given a third company name to contact as soon as they opened on the following workday.
  15. The third company had no address but got help from a clinic manager at another building.
  16. Called fourth company facilities services, left message about the leak.
  17. Called EPCOR operations manager to learn more about any management company they might have located. He did not know but noted that the clinic water bill was very high during the time of the leak. I will check back to see what billing change has been realized after the leak was repaired.
  18. Waiting to hear from the fourth company facilities services department. Called and left a second message.
  19. Now, on Aug. 2, one month after the first report of the leak and three phone calls, the fourth management person returned my last call and advised that on the previous day, three different entities met and resolved the responsible party for the irrigation system.
  20. Now if I can only get that responsible party to cut down the incredibly large amount of vegetation that has grown up as a result of the uncontrolled water leak.
  21. Many thanks to the person reporting the leak and to the Posse for reporting to your PORA Water Committee and to EPCOR for the prompt action to control the problem.
  22. Come to the next PORA Water Committee meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 19 and see pictures of the largest water leak ever reported in Sun City West. We will also discuss other areas of Fugitive Water concerns in our community along with other local and regional water issues.

We’d like to invite our readers to submit their civil comments, pro or con, on this issue. Email AZOpinions@iniusa.org.