Arizona RV Resort Awaits Action on 2007 Request

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August 6, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

The owner of the Pioneer RV Resort in north Phoenix doesn't have the state-issued permit required to operate a wastewater-treatment plant, even though he requested the permit in 2007.

The resort's wastewater-treatment plant at 36408 N. Black Canyon Highway serves 323 customers who park their trailers during the winter and about 70 during the summer. The effluent is discharged into two above-ground holding pools, which have spigots that spray water to expedite the evaporation process, The Arizona Republic reported.

The wastewater plant also serves the Pioneer Living History Museum and a restaurant.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) requires such businesses to have an aquifer-protection permit because the facility's discharge is considered a pollutant and may impact the groundwater. Permits, for example, are required of lagoons, sewage or wastewater-treatment buildings and septic-tank systems.

Attorney Michael Phalen said Wednesday (Aug. 4) that his client, Eric Roles, CEO of Roles Inn of America Inc. and operator of the Pioneer RV Resort, applied for a permit in 2007 but the request is still pending. Phalen added that it takes time to fully comply with state rules and that residents are not in danger.

Phalen also said the administration of the State Land Department, which owns the land on which the RV park is located, asked Roles to offer other ideas to deal with excess wastewater. Roles suggested planting a tree nursery on the property to absorb the excess and overflow from the ponds, Phalen said.

"The treated water will be dispersed to the tree farm, providing a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective option," Phalen said. "Under the subterranean drip systems, the evaporation ponds will likely be removed."

ADEQ officials said Tuesday that Roles is cooperative and has worked toward a resolution. He allowed ADEQ inspectors to visit the plant to determine how the existing and future irrigation system will impact the groundwater and showed he has the money to cover the additions.

As long as there is that effort, park operators won't be penalized, said Mark Shaffer, ADEQ spokesman.

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