'It shouldn't have happened in the first place': Relief on the way for Pantano ponding problems
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Cory Marshall
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Pantano pond. Never heard of it? That's because it should not exist.
Residents first contacted 9OYS about ponding in Pantano Wash near Speedway last September, worried the stagnant water would give way to mosquito breeding. Months later, the water is still there.
Gerald Loper drives by the problem section of Pantano Wash regularly.
"My son's in-laws live right up about [the] north end of that wet spot over there so I was concerned about it," Loper told 9OYS's Cory Marshall while pointing to the ponding in the wash.
He recently called 9OYS after realizing the ponding problem at Pantano is still a problem.
Construction crews working on bank stabilization work last summer left divots in the wash. Monsoon and winter rain moved in and the problem ponding poured in.
"When the rains quit and nothing was done, I was interested in why," Loper continued.
Chris Cawein is the Pima County Regional Flood District Deputy Director.
Last September, he told 9OYS re-grading would be completed once the area dried out. Things did not go as planned. Nine On Your Side caught up with Cawein in early February.
"So, we are in the process. It's taken longer than anticipated we're a bit frustrated with that," Cawein said.
Flood District officials did pump the ponding water from the wash. At the time, things looked dry on the surface.
Cawein says when construction crews, the same crew responsible for the divots, went to re-grad in October, they found out thing's weren't so dry underneath and the bulldozer got stuck in the mud.
Construction crews gave it another shot in December and you guessed it, they got stuck again.
Now onto Plan "B."
We really feel confident that we won't have anything to deal with this mosquito season in that particular location," Cawein said.
Crews will move sediment from a maintenance project down stream, filling the indents and preventing any future ponding. According to Cawein, the new solution will actually save the county money because the project combines work being done at another spot.
Cawein says the project should be completed by March at the latest.
Construction crews are contractually bound to fix the problems at Pantano. The plan required the site to be graded to properly drain.