Field Service and Flushing/Distribution technician Scott Williams flushes a hydrant in the Homestead neighborhood of Maricopa as part of Global Water’s newly revised flushing program. The revision prescribes annually scheduled flushing of hydrants throughout the city to prevent the buildup of sediment that could potentially damage fire department pumping equipment. Photo by Mason Callejas

Municipal water supplier Global Water is in negotiations with City of Maricopa Fire & Medical over an agreement to clean and maintain hydrants within the city, a move aimed to help mitigate risks of equipment rendered inoperable by dirty water.

The private company, which controls and distributes most of Maricopa’s fresh water supply, is working closely with the fire department to reach an agreement about the removal and prevention of potentially dangerous silt and sediment buildup in the city’s hydrant supply lines.

In the past, sediment from hydrants has been identified as a source of problems with MFD’s crucial pumping equipment.

During a call to the public at the regular session of the Maricopa city council meeting Nov. 1, Global Water General Manager Jon Corwin outlined the measures the company is taking to correct the problem, and how after working together over the past year the two parties have likely reached an agreement.

“That agreement has been reviewed by Global Water and sent back to the fire department,” Corwin said. “We’re hopeful that we’re close to signing that agreement.”

In an earlier interview, Corwin said he was never made aware of any recent issues with MFD pumping equipment and that if it had happened it must have happened in the distant past.

“That message was never even communicated to Global Water,” Corwin Said. “So, when that happened exactly I’m not sure, but I know it was not anytime recent.”

Maricopa Fire Chief Brady Leffler, on the other hand, insisted that the incident did happen around a year ago, and that it was reported. Nonetheless, Leffler went on to say that, despite an initial sluggish response from the company, he is happy that Global Water has begun working closer with MFD to address the issue and the two parties were soon to reach a workable agreement.

“Our relationship with Global Water has improved tremendously over the past couple months,” Leffler said. “When we started this process it was very dysfunctional, being a privately owned water company. We had a meeting and it didn’t go well. Since that time we had another meeting that did go well.”

Corwin agreed the meeting was constructive and Global Water has tentatively agreed to continually and systematically flush hydrant lines to prevent any issue in the future.

The proposed agreement would also allow the fire department to go in after the flushing is done to check the hydrants’ functionality as well as assure that non-working hydrants are addressed and reconciled with the Geographical Information Systems public safety standards.

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