Pine-Strawberry.indd

Pine suffered for years with water issues. It became so critical that they put a building moratorium in place. The moratorium is gone, but now some residents are dealing with too much water.

Darwin Huber recently talked about the problem with the Roundup. “We have an issue here in Portal III in Pine. Starting back in mid-December, one of our residents started experiencing a water leak into his basement that we believe is caused by a waterline leak in the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District’s (PSWID) water supply system.”

Huber said PSWID has done some preliminary investigative work into the situation by digging a few holes and taking a water sample.

“Thus far they are saying that it is not their problem and are telling us that the leak is most likely caused by a defective septic system on someone’s property or it’s from ground water. We (Portal III HOA Board of Directors) have stated our disagreement with this position since the amount of water flowing, 10 gallons per minute, is unreasonable for a septic leak — even in the worst case. And since we have been relatively dry for the last couple of years, a groundwater cause is highly unlikely — plus the area involved has never experienced something like this before.”

Huber said the situation has become worse over the past two months with water leaking on road surfaces causing a potential danger to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Other homes are now affected with flooded basements, he added.

“The latest bad news is due to the water saturated ground a pine tree has fallen on a house due to the unstable dirt holding it in place due to the consistent water flow,” he said.

The PSWID was asked in mid-December to shut the water off entering Deer Crossing by the Portal III HOA board, but the group was told the shut-off valve at the intersection of Deer Crossing and Juniper Loop was broken and the water cannot be turned off. As late as mid-February, the valve had not been replaced.

Huber wrote to the PSWID board, “The water meters on the neighboring homes on Deer Crossing do not show significant water usage. The water is flowing along your water lines under Deer Crossing and is flooding the above mentioned control valve housing and the water continues to flow under Juniper Loop and surfaces from a crack on Juniper Loop near the intersection of Lo Mia. This underground water poses a threat of undermining the integrity of the HOA road of Deer Crossing, as well as the Gila County road of Juniper Loop.

Huber sent eight emails to the PSWID board during February and had only one response to let him know the issue would be on the Feb. 25 meeting agenda.

PSWID Chairman Alan Kleinman was contacted by the Roundup for comments on the issue in Portal III, but he had not responded by press time.

The PSWID Board of Directors met Thursday, Feb. 25. A number of Portal III property owners were there to voice their concerns. Information from the meeting was not available at press time.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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