I found Fred Carpenter's letter of March 7 factual and informative. I wish he would clarify a couple of points:
1. Of the CAP allocation sale in 1992 which provided the town with $4,218,797 to develop new water, how much money do we still have left?
(Carpenter responds: "A little under $2 million." This question is answered in the March 7 article.)
2. How much additional water is now online 14 years later that can be attributed to the money spent from the allocation?
(Public Works Director Buzz Walker said, "A trust fund was established in 1994 as a result of transfer of Payson' water allocations to the City of Scottsdale. That fund has helped develop 19 wells with a production capacity of 4.439 million gallons a day. An average day's water use is 1.3 million.)
3. Fred's concern that the proximity of the Chilson well to the town production wells indicates that it is not new water. Does this mean that the Horton well in Star Valley being near their production wells is not new water?
(Buzz Walker responds: "(The RH2 well) is not near any production wells. It is absolutely new water. The comes from just east of Payson in the Knolls Subdivision.")
4. Could the original allocation have been made "wet" with a simple exchange with the SRP for East Verde water?
(Carpenter responds, "No. There was not enough reliable flow in the East Verde to do that. There were also worries about the deleterious effects to the riparian habitat.)
5. What is the extent of the Aero drive contamination plume? How far and how fast is it spreading? Does it threaten the nearby production wells? Can the water be made potable if it does enter the production wells?
(Walker said, "The area was contaminated 35 years ago with improperly discharged dry cleaning chemicals. The boundaries of the plume extend from South Beeline Highway and South McLane Road between West Main Street and West Aero Drive. It is not spreading. It does threaten the nearby production wells, but a treatment plant and seven neighborhood extraction wells are operating in the area in order to hold the plume in check. The water is made potable by the West Aero Drive water treatment plant and is made available for consumption every day.)
Phon D Sutton, Bear Flat
Editor's note: Fred Carpenter and Buzz Walker were given an opportunity to answer these questions before the letter printed. Their answers are in parentheses.)