San Tan Valley sewer leak is latest stink for water company

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. -- A sewer leak caused a stinky situation out in San Tan Valley. A Johnson Utilities sewer pipe burst along Hunt Highway, shutting the road down south of Johnson Ranch Boulevard for most of Tuesday.

The sewage leak was discovered around 7 a.m., according to Johnson Utilities.

The company spent the day cleaning the road and sanitizing the area with chlorine. Johnson Utilities engineer Greg Brown told 3TV it was a relatively small leak.

“Sewer leaks are part of doing the business," Brown said. "I mean, every wastewater treatment company -- sewer company -- has sewer leaks.” 

It’s not the first time Johnson Utilities has had problems this year. Earlier in 2013, a sewer leak contaminated a decorative pond in San Tan Heights. Some residents told 3TV they’re fed up with the problems.

“I haven't gone a good, solid six months without there being an issue whether it be, well, water pressure’s the biggest one but sewage, yellow water,” said Emily Hughes, a member of the San Tan Valley Safe Water group.

Brown, however, dismissed the idea of this most recent spill being yet another knock to the company’s reputation.

“Our sewer leaks, the number per year, are less than the national average,” Brown said.

3TV was unable to independently verify Brown’s claim at the time of this publication.

Johnson Utilities said it will report this incident to the Department of Environmental Quality within a few days.