PebbleCreek residents frustrated with flooding

Tailwater has been flowing down the Bullard Wash sporadically since late 2017.

Residents of Goodyear’s PebbleCreek say they are fed up with flooding issues they’ve been dealing with since 2017.

Janet Kirshbaum is among the vocal residents raising concerns about unpredictable, off-and-on floods in the community. For her, the problem is just feet away from her backyard, which opens into the Bullard Wash, a federal waterway that cuts through PebbleCreek and mainly carries tailwater.

That tailwater, which a 2018 study determined has too many contributing sources, decreases mobility and poses safety hazards in the gated property, Kirshbaum said.

“The water is saturating the road. What’s called Robson Circle is utilized by the residents here for riding bikes, walking, and to get their golf carts to and from wherever they’re going. Of course, (water) stops it. It stops any of that.” Kirshbaum said. “People can’t go through there.”

Longtime PebbleCreek resident Grant Hachmann said he is one of those people. Hachmann, who relies on his golf cart for transportation, said he can’t get around when flows are deep.

“I can get through with my car because I have an SUV. But I can’t get through often in my golf cart because the water is too deep. It’ll come up into the batteries and have a big, big problem,” Hachmann said. 

“I can’t go to the clubhouse; I can’t go to the fitness center in my golf cart. It basically cuts me off from the rest of the subdivision.”

PebbleCreek’s general manager, Bill Barnard, said while floodwater limits access to the roads, “you can get around it; it’s just inconvenient to get around it.” Barnard, who has been documenting the floods since late 2017, said, based on how they flow onto the roads, floods fall under three categories: heavy, moderate and light.

“You have to be careful when they say, ‘Oh, it’s flooded all the time.’ For example, we had 38 days in 2018 where the wash was running. That’s 38 days out of 365. Of those days, 11 were heavy flows,” Barnard said. “It is an ongoing problem, no doubt about it. It’s a nuisance. It’s hard for people to walk through it when it’s heavy.”

Hachmann and Kirshbaum said their concerns go beyond the roads, though. They claim standing water is spawning infestation.

“It’s not only the ‘over-the-road’ thing. All these lots here behind are standing water, and we know that does nothing but breed mosquitoes and whatever else may come about,” Hachmann said, pointing toward Kirshbaum’s yard. 

Kirshbaum added, “Like two Thanksgivings in a row, ’17 and ’18, we always have company from out of town; we can’t sit out in our backyard because of the mosquitoes. It’s really bad.”

But Barnard said there is no standing water.

“If we see standing water, we treat it with larvicide. There’s no infestation because of the Bullard Wash. Now, the neighbors may tell you that. They like to use that as a point of contention,” he said. 

PebbleCreek’s homeowners association is working with the city of Goodyear, Barnard said. A team of engineers is working on a possible solution. 

“The only solution I can do is improve the roads. I can’t stop the water; I can’t put a wall up. That is what we’re doing as an HOA, is looking to improve our roads,” Barnard said. “We’ve got an engineer looking at either putting culverts under the road or trying to divert the water so it doesn’t affect our residents as much.

“That will be at a cost to all of the members of the HOA. That will be a decision that our board will have to make — as to whether that cost is feasible for the 38 days of the year that it affects our homeowners.”