Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. EAG-W-08-01, Order No. 30595
July 3, 2008
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Eagle Water has until July 18 to serve mobile home park residents
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is giving Eagle Water Company until July 18 to initiate water service to the 74 mobile homes inside Floating Feather Mobile Home Park. If not, residents may request service from Boise-based United Water of Idaho.
The mobile home park, at 1060 Horseshoe Bend Road (Old Highway 55), falls within the service territory of Eagle Water Company, but the residents are served by a private well that has been recently determined by the state Department of Environmental Quality to be contaminated with uranium.
To address the contamination issue, the mobile home park’s owner, Rick Felix, has been attempting to connect the mobile home park residents to Eagle Water’s system. Felix recently filed a complaint with the commission, alleging that attempts since February to connect to Eagle Water have been repeatedly delayed, despite continued assurances from the company’s owners that connection was forthcoming. (Eagle Water Company is not the same as the City of Eagle Water, a municipal water system.)
Felix notes that United Water has a mainline on Horseshoe Bend Road adjacent to the park. Utilities are prohibited by state law from offering services inside the certificated area of another regulated utility without commission approval.
Eagle Water Company has not been able to add the mobile home park customers because it is under a DEQ consent order forbidding it from adding new customers until it addresses its lack of back-up infrastructure within its existing system.
At a hearing before the commission on Wednesday, representatives of Eagle Water testified that they have worked out a draft agreement with the City of Eagle that would permit Eagle Water to interconnect with the city’s water system during times of emergency, such as a fire, when Eagle Water’s capacity may be short. The agreement, which has yet to be approved by the Eagle City Council but is on the agenda for a meeting Tuesday night, will satisfy DEQ’s concerns and lift the moratorium, according to Eagle Water Company officials. However, DEQ officials were not present at the hearing to verify Eagle Water’s contention.
The commission’s order says that by July 18, Eagle Water Company must notify the commission in writing that the agreement with the city, which is for 18 months at a cost of $4,000 per month to Eagle Water Company, is final and that the DEQ consent order has been lifted. If not, the mobile home park residents may petition to be served by United Water.
“We find no excuse for the company’s failure to address and remedy its system deficiencies in a timely manner,” the commission said. “Floating Feather’s situation is a health issue requiring immediate and prompt action. If the company were ready to serve, it would not be subject to DEQ’s moratorium service conditions. We expect the company to be proactive with service requests within its certificated area and not await commission direction.”