Metro Water Tucson Pump Efficiency Test

Metro Water District Tucson 6265 N. La Canada Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85704 De Concini Site May 2012 Photo Evidence Disclosure - "site of failed pump efficiency test incident"
Metro Water District Tucson
6265 N. La Canada Blvd.
Tucson, Arizona 85704
De Concini Site May 2012
Photo Evidence Disclosure –
“site of failed pump efficiency
test incident”
Metro Water District Tucson , 6265 N. La Canada Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85704 De Concini Site May 2012 Photo Evidence Disclosure - "failed flushing hose from test incident"
Metro Water District Arizona Tucson
6265 N. La Canada Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85704
De Concini Site May 2012
Photo Evidence Disclosure –
“failed flushing hose from test incident”

On May 10, 2012, a Metro Water District supervisor directed deviation from the standard pump test procedure resulting in this flushing hose being overpressurized to the point of structural failure.

Calculations performed by Metro Water District supervisor and operator prior to this pump test revealed an anticipated “dead-head” pressure of 138 psi. The 6″ blue flushing hose used in this test is clearly rated for only 50 psi as depicted in photo.

Metro Water District onsite supervisors instructed a distribution operator not to install the testing pressure gauge at the threaded port on the steel piping, and not to use the wheel operated throttle valve near the threaded port.   A “pump-off” trailer of the Metro Water District’s Deputy General Manager’s design was instead coupled inline and downstream of the standard test gauge and valve throttle point.   The throttling of the hydraulic load at at the downstream “pump-off” trailer location resulted in overpressurization to the point of failure of the upstream flushing hose.  The flushing hose could not withstand the hydraulic pressure load imposed, and ruptured, exposing operators nearby and the electrician working in the electrical apparatus under electrical load to being soaked by the semi-conductive spray from the rupture.  District equipment was damaged and workers at the scene were exposed to possible electrocution and arc blast. Neither of the two Metro Water District supervisors directing the incident on May 10th 2012 notified Metro Water District’s Risk Management of the incident.

Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District of Pima County in Tucson, AZ was cited by Arizona Department of Safety and Health (ADOSH) following one state investigation where it was determined that Metro Water District had not followed its own procedure regarding post-incident investigation.

Apparently the incident was no accident, with management un-remorseful and willing to continue the unlawful retaliation AND with Metro Water board complicity, next stop:

Metro-Water Unlawful-Retaliation Raises-Rates. and


Metro Water Murky Matters – Metro Water District -TucsonWeekly

” Metro Water Murky Matters ” – Metro Water District – Metro-Water-Tucson-Weekly Metro-Water-Murky-Matters – TucsonWeekly Article about Metro Water District Tucson – . . After nearly being electrocuted, a Metro Water employee is fired—and the risk-management specialist resigns in protest. www.metrowater

Metro Water Murky Matters 

As a fired electrician fights to get his job back, Metro Water increases its rates

By Albert Vetere Lannon

November 29, 2012

  • Albert Vetere Lannon
  • Metro Water electrician Donovan Hemway asks for protection at the Aug. 13 Metro Water board of directors meeting.

Metro Water TucsonWhen Metro Water District managers fired electrician Donovan Hemway after he was nearly electrocuted, they stirred up already murky waters—and several government investigations of Metro Water are under way, as Hemway fights to get his job back.

Speaking to the board of the water district—which serves about 50,000 people in the northwest, northeast and southwest areas of metro Tucson, according to its website—Hemway said on Aug. 13 that he was nearly electrocuted on May 10, when he became drenched while working in a live, 480-volt cabinet at Metro’s DeConcini well site. Hemway had worked for Metro for almost six years. (See “Sparks Flying,” Currents, Sept. 20.)

“I was nearly killed,” Hemway told the board then. Hemway had been ordered to do a pump-efficiency test. Now, Hemway is insistent about getting his job back.

Jessie Atencio, assistant director of the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, wouldn’t comment about the division’s investigation.

Hemway said he has received confirmation that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has begun a separate investigation of his termination, which occurred while he was on family and medical leave. The electrician’s charge of employment discrimination is pending at the state Attorney General’s Office, and an interview has been scheduled, he said.

Hemway’s first victory came when Metro Water, on the eve of a formal hearing, decided not to fight his workers’ compensation claim. The Industrial Commission of Arizona sent Hemway a letter notifying him that the Employers Compensation Insurance Co. had accepted his claim for compensation over job-caused medical issues.

Hemway sent the ICA a letter on Nov. 15 relaying reports from employees that a Metro Water supervisor was intimidating workers. Hemway charged that the supervisor told several people, including witnesses to the May 10 incident, that “if Mr. Hemway sues, there will be layoffs.”

The supervisor also reportedly made light of a 6-inch hose rupture as “just a pinhole leak,” despite company video showing Hemway drenched while near a live electrical connection. Hemway’s letter argued this showed “a pattern of unlawful disregard in a hostile work environment” that could lead to “stress claims and even a fatality.”

The company received the letter at 11:33 a.m. on Nov. 16, according to a delivery-confirmation service. Hemway claims that at 1:28 p.m. that day, he observed the supervisor in question driving slowly down his street.

While Hemway sees his battle with the company as David versus Goliath, the fallout may be affecting Metro Water in other ways. At a public hearing Oct. 22 on proposed rate increases, Metro customer David Tanner, a former company supervisor, asked a series of questions about Metro’s practices. According to the meeting minutes (posted on the Metro website,, one of the questions involved how much Metro was paying attorneys “to fight employees who complained about wage and hour law and job-safety violations.”

General manager Mark Stratton said the amount was not yet known. Board chairman Bryan Foulk denied any company wrongdoing, saying nothing was “being swept under the carpet.”

Another question from Tanner: “Is the rate increase needed so managers can continue to attend conferences at Whiskey Pete’s in Buffalo Bill’s Resort and Casino near Las Vegas?”

Stratton responded that the only manager who attended a conference there was deputy general manager Chris Hill. Hill was the person who initiated the change in a pump-testing procedure that almost killed Hemway when a hose ruptured, Hemway said. According to the conference prospectus, Hill was to teach a Sept. 25 class on “Reducing Risks and Costs.”

Tanner also asked about Foulk’s comments at a previous board meeting that debt service was “strangling the district.” Seventy-five percent of Metro’s annual income, $6.6 million, reportedly goes to debt service. Foulk said he was misquoted. His statement, however, remains in Metro Water’s approved board minutes from Aug. 13.

Another Metro customer, Annette Cline, sent an email to the board opposing the rate increase, adding, “I don’t really get the impression that my opinion as a longtime Metro customer really matters to the board of directors, anyway.” The Southern Arizona Home Builders Association wrote the board that any increase in connection fees “will adversely affect our builder members.”

The board dropped the proposed water-connection fee increase, but voted unanimously to raise the base rate by $2.50 a month; to increase water consumption charges by 4 percent; and to establish to a new water-resource-utilization fee of 10 cents per thousand gallons.

Metro Water customer Donovan Hemway, unemployed since his discharge from the company, will have to pay the new rates while he continues his battle to get his job back.

Read the previous article:

Metro Water Murky Matters –



Arizona Water Buffalo

Road Warriors

Water pros kick-start ‘Water-Buffalos’ motorcycle gang

by Jennifer Finley | BC WATER NEWS

Once recognized as the fiercest beasts roaming the wild open wetlands of Asia, water buffalos earned their reputation as aggressive warriors able to travel long distances and engage in dangerous stampedes.

Still stampeding, the modern Water Buffalo now earns respect roaming the winding miles of U.S. highway on the back of a Harley Road King or a Vintage Indian Chief or maybe even a Yamaha Road Star. These Water Buffalos are bikers—but not just any bikers—a special herd of motorcycle riding water professionals from Arizona. Yes, they are still hunting for water, but these days the search for supply is typically sought through legislation and state regulations.

The Arizona Water Buffalos formed in 2004 when Brown and Caldwell’s Water Resources Practice Leader Harold Thomas in Phoenix joined a handful of other water industry leaders on a ride to a water conference. The gang had such a great time that they decided to form an official club and eventually settled on the name The Water Buffalos.

Each year, they reunite to ride to the Annual Tri-State Seminar (Arizona, California, and Nevada), which features sessions on water, wastewater and security issues.

Metro Water Tucson Arizona Water Buffalo

From the Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District are Frank Gallego, telemetry specialist; Jim Doyle, MWD board member and Pima County WWTP Superintendent; Mark Stratton, MDWID general manager; and Chris Hill, deputy general manager, and Harold Thomas, BC’s Arizona Water Resources Practice leader.

To become an Arizona Water Buffalo, you must work in the water industry, ride a motorcycle, preferably smoke a cigar and complete at least one ride with the group. The cost? Paying your dues means sharing the road and some really good times—no fees required. The benefits include a lifelong membership, hopefully some lifelong friendships and, of course, the much-sought Water Buffalo State Chapter patch.

“The patch is a sacred thing,” says Thomas. “It’s an original design and registered to preserve the membership status of the club.” Donated by Brown and Caldwell and designed by BC Senior Media Specialist Francisco Loureiro, the patch is stitched on a standard denim vest.

The water buffalo has a long and colorful history with clubs, such as the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Water Buffaloes with members from the Water Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association who have made special contributions to the area of water rights and the modern day social lodge in California called the Loyal Order of the Water Buffaloes, as well as Fred Flintstone’s Royal Order of the Water Buffaloes.

As water professionals, Water Buffalos enjoy more than just social outings. The goal is to develop a nationwide network of water officials who want to build relationships and enjoy the unique bonding that takes place during any ride.

“When it comes to doing business, a typical lunch lasts about an hour. A bike trip can take more than six hours, and it’s a great way to really get to know someone that you also share a working relationship with,” Thomas says.

“What better way to create solidarity among water professionals than to enjoy a shared passion of riding and attending water-related meetings and conferences,” adds Mark Stratton, general manager for the Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District in Tucson.

The club is growing and recruiting—from telemetry specialists to general managers and superintendents, you’ll find them all on their bikes. Although limited to gentlemen riders at the moment, lady bikers are welcome and wanted (cigars are optional.)

The bikers are still working on developing their own individual nicknames. As the anecdotes from each ride become legends, the nicknames are sure to follow.

Ride with purpose
This year, the Arizona Water Buffalos are kick-starting a nationwide ride to raise funds and awareness for the international nonprofit organization Water For People (WFP).

In June 2006, riders from various locations across the United States and Canada will head to San Antonio, Texas, for the AWWA National Conference. Each biker is asked to raise a $1 per-mile-traveled that will be donated to WFP, and it’s anticipated that each rider will average more than 1,000 miles.

Sign up for the trip at the Ride with Purpose web site.

If you would like to join the Arizona Water Buffalos, or are interested in starting a chapter in your state, contact Thomas at 602.567.3920 or


Established in 1947, Brown and Caldwell is a multidisciplined environmental engineering and consulting firm. The employee-owned company is headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., and employs more than 1,300 people in 45 offices nationwide. Engineering News-Record ranks Brown and Caldwell 54th among the nation’s top 500 engineering firms and 9th largest in the Sewer/Waste market.



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A Payment made via metrowatertucson direct-pay is paid directly when this Payment-Option is directed to your Direct-pay account.  Directing water-bill-payments toward metro-water-tucson’s direction of unlawful retaliation has never been easier.  Managers and Directors of Tucson Metro Water Utilities have every Payment-Option to direct-your-pay towards lawful services, but do not faithfully direct payment in lawful and moral directions as should be their directive!  A directory of indirect directions-of-distributions  may be utilized by this Tucson metro-water-utility resulting in a supply of account-penalties for non-direct-payDirect-Payments or Indirect Payments?  Don’t DIRECT-PAY any utility bill towards unlawful retaliation in Metro Tucson Az.  The Directorate of direct-payment-options directs ratepayer funds in the most indirect manner. ( see Brunni B. ) Direct-Payer Over-Payment-Options at Metro-Water-Tucson Water Companies;