Late summer 2020 marked the second-year anniversary of EPCOR's stepping in as Interim Manager of Johnson Utilities. In this time, we've made significant headway. Here are some highlights of EPCOR's work, starting Aug. 31, 2018, as Interim Manager of Johnson Utilities:
- Our engineering team performed a thorough analysis of the Johnson Utilities water and wastewater systems in 2018, laying the groundwork for a three-year, roughly $127 million capital improvement plan covering dozens of water and wastewater projects. The plan addresses infrastructure discrepancies to ensure that the utility can meet current and future demand as its customer base grows. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) approved the capital improvement plan in July 2019 and directed EPCOR to proceed immediately with the work.
- Through a multi-pronged approach optimizing existing water infrastructure and strategically developing new sources, we secured adequate water supply to meet customer needs through the summer 2020, the hottest summer on record for Arizona.
- We installed needed treatment units throughout the system with the result that all water continues to meet all current and federal standards.
- We worked hard to identify and remedy the sources of sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) and odor issues associated with the wastewater system and made numerous site-specific repairs and upgrades to address them. Although the long-term solution to these concerns is replacement and/or expansion of specific wastewater treatment facilities, our immediate responses greatly reduced the incidence of SSOs and air quality complaints since August 2018.
- We performed an internal billing system audit to make cure customers receive accurate bills.
- We improved the experience Johnson Utilities customers receive when they call customer service during and after work hours.
- Internally, we collaborated with the Johnson Utilities team to optimize working conditions, vacation time, and fair pay for employees along with streamlining many business processes.
- EPCOR has hosted multiple well-attended community meetings to share updates on work to date, answer questions, and invite feedback from customers and other stakeholders.
These significant accomplishments would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of Johnson Utilities employees working alongside EPCOR's Arizona team. As we move into our third year as Interim Manager, EPCOR is committed to staying the course for Johnson Utilities customers.