A problem with the safety of the drinking water in Whispering Pines, which is provided by the Payson Water Company (Brooke Utilities), is forcing residents to either boil the water or use bottled water.
Nov. 18, the company sent notices to its Whispering Pines customers about the problem. According to the notice, the system had more than the maximum allowed total and fecal coliform bacteria in November.
"It's scary," said Pat Johnson of Whispering Pines. "To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time this has happened, and I've been here more than 20 years."
She went on to say the company has never been responsive to any requests from the area's residents to improve the system.
The system is being tested. The company advised customers that the efforts to correct the problem would be finished by Nov. 21, but it is now asking the residents to continue safety measures until Nov. 23.
"I didn't see anyone from the company out here working this weekend," Johnson said.
"Customer safety is our first focus," said Myndi Brogdon, community relations consultant for the utility.
"It is important that our customers in Whispering Pines continue to boil water at least three minutes before using it or use an alternative source until they hear from Brooke Utilities, Inc. (parent company for Payson Water Company, Inc.)."
She told the Roundup that, as of Monday night, the company had not identified the cause of contamination.
"Our crews are working hard to find, isolate and correct this problem.
"Brooke Utilities is committed to comply with all of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality regulations.
"Customers may see large amounts of water in areas of Whispering Pines -- we are flushing out the lines as a part of this process," Brogdon said.
Brooke Utilities employees have gone door to door in Whispering Pines notifying all customers. Customers have also been notified by e-mail.
"We will continue to post information at the Whispering Pines Fire Station, the East Verde Church, at the mailboxes and the two well sites," she said.
If customers have questions or if they would like to be added to the e-mail list, they are asked to call the Customer Service Center at 800-270-6084.