Anthem, utility company consider water station for communities in crisis

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Epcor wants to build a water station like this one in Scottsdale on land in Anthem. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Epcor wants to build a water station like this one in Scottsdale on land in Anthem. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The proposed water station would serve residents in New River and Desert Hills. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The proposed water station would serve residents in New River and Desert Hills. (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) 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)
ANTHEM, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Anthem Community Council (ACC) is considering a proposal by utility Epcor to build a water station serving residents outside the community. The ACC must give Epcor permission to buy or lease Anthem property for the project.

Epcor currently serves Anthem and is looking to expand its service to help residents in New River and Desert Hills. The unincorporated areas are in a water crisis with residents having to pay water haulers to fill their tanks. Their water rates are expected to more than double after January 1, 2018, when the City of Phoenix no longer allows haulers to draw from its taps.

[READ MORE: Phoenix to prevent water haulers from using hydrants]

[AND THIS: Residents launch petition effort to keep faucets flowing in New River, Desert Hills]

ACC Board of Directors President Roger Willis says it “takes time to do it right the first time.” Willis said he was not speaking for other board members, but admitted the process appeared to be taking so long because the ACC “did not learn of the actions taken by the City of Phoenix until late this summer.”

The ACC has identified key discussion points, including location of the proposed water station, traffic, noise and design.

“I wouldn’t want noise and pollution and traffic around my house either,” says Keith Turner, vice president of a group representing New River and Desert Hills residents who are running out of water. “I get that, but this is a life-or-death situation.”

Epcor, which is owned by the City of Edmonton and provides regulated water to 31 communities and nine counties in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, has suggested the water station be built off Desert Hills Drive near 17th Avenue. A spokesperson said haulers would have access from Desert Hills Drive which is south of Anthem’s boundary.

The ACC meeting is Oct. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the Anthem Civic Building ( 3701 W. Anthem Way, Anthem). A vote on the proposed water station is expected to take place Nov. 15.