This month marks the two-year anniversary of the town assuming management of the wastewater system in north Marana. It was an important acquisition, one that allows us to strengthen our water portfolio and provide better-cost containment for current and future customers.
When state law and subsequent voter approval provided the town with an opportunity to purchase the system, it was the beginning of a long-term commitment to our residents. Not long after voters last spring overwhelmingly gave the town authority to own the system in North Marana, we began making upgrades in order to deliver more efficient service.
The improvements are helping in many ways: making our facility more durable, removing solid materials before entering the treatment lagoon and enhancing the biological treatment of the wastewater.
Most importantly, we are beginning the process of developing a groundwater replenishment program next to the north Marana plant. Our treated and purified water will eventually be delivered to aquifer recharge basins, allowing the town to begin storing water underground for the future.
The reliability of our water supply is critical to ensure that our town has the capacity to accommodate beneficial, well-planned growth. Having an element of our water portfolio that is locally-controlled and grows with the community was the primary reason we wanted to operate and manage our wastewater system.
The north Marana system has around 2,000 customers. The town added more than 160 sewer connections in 2013, indicative of the housing starts occurring within the service area. With continued, healthy growth, we will be able to keep meeting our current financial obligations while having the ability and funds to expand the system for future residents and businesses.
The town is following through on its pledge to serve its water and wastewater customers with reliable service in a safe, responsible and effective manner. These initial investments will ensure that the system is operating as efficiently as possible and is adaptable for anticipated growth.
We appreciate everyone who supported our town’s mission and look forward to the continuation of providing quality water and wastewater service to our many valued customers.
(Editor’s Note: John Kmiec is the Town of Marana’s Utilities Director.)