Phoenix to prevent water haulers from using hydrants

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Rural homeowners living outside Phoenix could feel the impact by the City's move to protect its water supply. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Rural homeowners living outside Phoenix could feel the impact by the City's move to protect its water supply. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Phoenix will end permits that allow water haulers to draw from Phoenix hydrants and transport the water to New River and Desert Hills. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Phoenix will end permits that allow water haulers to draw from Phoenix hydrants and transport the water to New River and Desert Hills. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Phelps and Hornewer intend to continue serving the area by using permits granted by the cities of Peoria and Scottsdale and have been informing customers their fees may double to cover extra operating costs. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Phelps and Hornewer intend to continue serving the area by using permits granted by the cities of Peoria and Scottsdale and have been informing customers their fees may double to cover extra operating costs. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Some haulers and their customers are organizing to get the City to reconsider its position. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Some haulers and their customers are organizing to get the City to reconsider its position. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The City of Phoenix is making a move to protect its water supply, but it could hurt rural homeowners living outside the city. 

Right now, haulers buy permits to draw from Phoenix hydrants and transport the water to New River and Desert Hills, but the City will be cutting them off Dec. 31, saying the permits are not intended to be used that way.

“Delivering water to residential communities outside of city service areas is not an authorized use of this permit,” says City spokeswoman Stephanie Bracken. “These communities do not have customer accounts, do not pay service and environmental charges, and are not directly billed by the City.”

“I don’t think the City truly knows how many people this is going to affect,” says Brad Phelps, with Crystal Creek Water, who estimates up to 3,000 homes will be affected.

Haulers also pay for the water they collect.

“There's no way the water rates will not increase because of the amount of time it's going to take to travel to get a water source from another municipality,” says John Hornewer with Rio Verde Water.

Phelps and Hornewer intend to continue serving the area by using permits granted by the cities of Peoria and Scottsdale and have been informing customers their fees may double to cover extra operating costs.

“I'm going to have to start to really cut down,” says New River resident Stephen Richards. 

The retiree cares for his mother while living on a fixed income. Richards has a well but had to purchase a tank about five years ago when the well became less reliable.

“It's no longer producing enough water for me to actually live here and use it,” says Richards.

While he says he understands the City’s position, he says paying more for water delivery will hurt his budget.

“It's a terrible thing to do to people who depend on water,” says Richards. “Good Lord, air and water and I guess a few other things in life, we have to have those things. And I won’t be able to even sell my house if I don’t have water.”

Some haulers and their customers are organizing to get the City to reconsider its position. 

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