Prescott Valley Town Council and staff are considering a new bulk water sales policy as part of the Town’s ongoing Water Resource Management Strategy.
Currently, Town code allows owners or tenants of real property, or their agents, to apply for water service through a fire hydrant by separate application. Users pay a deposit for a hydrant meter, and there is no restriction on whether customers or users must be inside the Town limits, the purpose of the water use, or the amount used. There is also no separate rate paid. Existing uses include construction, residential consumption (including irrigation/landscaping), pesticide dilution/delivery, dust control, and specific Town uses. Meters are assigned to hydrants and may not be moved without Town permission. A non-refundable fee is deducted from the deposits for operational condition testing and any repair costs.
In Fiscal Year 2022-23, total water provided through hydrant meters was 34.7 million gallons, or 1.7 percent of total water provided to the community. Research has shown that other communities also allow use of fire hydrants for bulk water sales rather than require users to have meters of the necessary size on their private property. But uses of water from hydrants is typically restricted. Also, many communities have built separate water fill stations not assigned to any one user but available to all for general use. Higher fees are typically charged for bulk use of water from hydrants or fill stations.
Town staff has now prepared draft Town Code and Utility Regulation amendments to implement a three-year phased program of limiting bulk sale water usage from fire hydrants to temporary construction use, along with certain Town uses. Usage through water fill stations would be unrestricted. Staff would also propose higher rates for such bulk water usage as part of the related utility rate review and conservation measures in progress. During the transition period, any hydrants not used for a two-month period would have their accounts closed, and such accounts could only be re-opened for the allowed temporary construction uses. Staff would propose that at least one water fill station be designed, constructed, and made ready for operation as soon during the three-year transition as possible.
Town staff has discussed these proposals with representatives of the contractor community and received preliminary comments. After Town Council discussion, staff proposes to seek additional comments from potential impacted water customers prior to bringing the proposals back for possible Council consideration and adoption.
The Town would like to hear comment from these water customers. Please call the Prescott Valley Utilities Department with comment at 928-759-3070, or email firstname.lastname@example.org