Observatory LakeThis place, the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, was created both as a way of securing water for the people of Gilbert, and as a riparian habitat for the natural world.
In 1980, the Town of Gilbert made a commitment to reuse 100% of its effluent water. The Town’s desire to create innovative and unique ways to combine water resource development with open space, educational and recreational opportunities led to the development of the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch. Of the 110 acres, 70 acres make up the 7 water recharge basins that are filled on a rotating basis with treated effluent water, which percolates through the soils and into the aquifer where it is stored for future use. An additional lake is filled with reclaimed water, and is designated as an urban fishing resource through the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
The Water Ranch Preserve was designed with vegetative characteristics ranging from marshland to Sonoran desert habitat. More than 200 species of birds have been identified on the site, and many insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals inhabit the area. Over 4.5 miles of trails weave through the park, allowing visitors to enjoy meaningful connections with nature is this unique place.
What does 'Water Ranch' mean?
What does 'water ranch' mean?
Water RanchWhile it's a lot of fun to think what this term might mean, Water Ranch is actually the name of this Town of Gilbert property, extending from Greenfield to Higley Road, fronting Guadalupe Road, north of the utility easement. The Water Ranch property includes the site of the Riparian Preserve, the North Drinking Water Treatment plant, Fire Station #2 and a portion of the Salt River Project Eastern Canal, all involving various aspects of community water.
The Town of Gilbert takes many different approaches to conserving water in our community. The Water Ranch Preserve is one of three sites designed to 'reclaim' treated wastewater, restoring the groundwater supply. Our fire stations are built to high water conservation standards. Our drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities are continually being upgraded to reduce energy and water loss. We also offer educational programs for homeowners, business owners, and youth, all striving to encourage water saving habits!
Is this Gilbert site for taking care of people or nature?
This Gilbert Water Ranch Preserve takes care of the people of Gilbert and the natural habitat by both securing a long-term water supply, creating recreational space, and by replicating a natural riparian habitat area. Water is a valuable resource in the Sonoran Desert and the Town of Gilbert has planned accordingly to ensure healthy water supply for future generations. The Town also has a long history of providing diverse, quality recreational experiences, and with 4.5 miles of trails, and sites for fishing, education, picnicking, stargazing, and camping, this Preserve provides many special opportunities!
Riparian habitats support a wide array of wildlife in Arizona, as the dense and diverse plant life provides food and shelter, and the presence of water on the ground and in the surrounding air offers hydration and cooler temperatures. All elements of life abound, and Arizona's creatures know a good thing when they find it!
Riparian habitats currently occur in less than 10% of the natural lands of Arizona, and biologists tell us these habitat areas are diminishing. The Gilbert preserve project is one way we can contribute back toward the supply of these special areas. And research shows people benefit from connections with nature!
What's this 'R' word being used around here?
'Riparian' describes the transitional habitat between a body of water and the habitat that is typical for an area. Here in the Sonoran Desert, riparian habitats are found around our more consistent sources of water in rivers and lakes, and also occur near ephemeral sources of water, such as intermittent streams and desert washes.
Here in Arizona, riparian zones with a regular water supply are great locations for water loving, deciduous trees such as cottonwood, willow, and ash. Mesquites do well near washes, due to their extensive root system and a seed distribution scheme that relies on seasonally running water. A variety of shrubs fill in these habitat areas, and sedges, cattails, and rushes are typical along aquatic edges.
This particular site in Gilbert uses basins to facilitate the percolation of water into the ground, where it becomes part of Gilbert's underground water supply, or aquifer. These water-filled basins replicate naturally occurring bodies of water, and support the riparian habitats you see.
What can you do here?
With seven water reclamation basins and a fishing lake surrounded by walking trails and unique habitats, the Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is a special place where visitors can enjoy fishing, bird watching, picnicking, star gazing, nature photography, hiking, biking, plant identification, horseback riding, camping, and discover nature all around. The fishing lake is anUrban Fishing Lake run by the Arizona Fish and Game Department and is stocked with Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, Farm-raised Channel Catfish and Tilapia. The Desert Rivers Audubon Society offers free Family Bird Walks every 3rd Saturday, October through March 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon. In addition to fishing and bird watching, residents can enjoy a night of star gazing at the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory. Volunteers from the East Valley Astronomy Club explain the wonders of the stars and planets every Friday and Saturday night, weather permitting, from dusk until 9:30 pm. Additional tours, classes, and programs are offered throughout the year – visit our Preserve website to learn more.
Reservations for facilities and campsites can be made through Gilbert Parks and Recreation, at 480-503-6200.
Where in the world's water is Arizona?
Arizona falls in the arid zone of the earth's global climatic patterns.
Water vapor fills the earth's atmosphere, often so thick it reflects white light, which we see as a cloud. These thick clouds of water vapor eventually condense into the precipitation we know as rain or snow. But these weather events are rare for Arizona. Why?
Condensation occurs as a result of temperature and pressure differentials in our global atmosphere. As you can imagine, the hottest air of our planet forms around the equator, and the earth's coldest air of the northern hemisphere is around the Arctic Circle. Light warm air is buoyed upward and cold, heavy air settles in beneath. At points where these air masses clash, precipitation results. Arizona is located just far enough north of the equator to avoid most of these clashes. In fact, if you look at a map, you will see many deserts have formed about a third of the way north and south of the equator.
A soggy time in Arizona?
Much of the exposed rock throughout Arizona provides evidence of a wetter time in this land. We can see limestone formations of 1.5 billion-year old sea creatures and ocean minerals. Shale still holds the footprints of late Triassic era dinosaurs, suggestive of the muddy swamps of that time. These remnants of our land's history remind us of an ever-changing relationship between earth and water.
Most scientists believe in earth's earliest time, water could have only existed in its gaseous or vapor form. Imagine all the water currently on our planet as one thick atmospheric cloud layer! But as the planet cooled, the vapor condensed, and gravity pulled the liquid water to the Earth's surface. This water flowed to the lowest areas of the rock surface, creating the oceans. Some water froze solid, but the Sun's radiant energy turned some back to vapor, which rose again into the atmosphere. Climatic change over the eons has altered the percentages of water present in liquid, solid and gas forms, but the total amount is constant.
Where does this stream come from?
The water flowing down this hill was pumped up to the top of the hill from the groundwater supply, 160 feet below us. This water, from the upper aquifer groundwater supply, is great for filling our 7 acre fishing lake. The water quality of this stream is tested regularly to ensure optimal mineral levels for the fish habitat provided here at the Preserve. The tumbling action of the stream mixes oxygen from the air into the water as it falls into the lake, increasing this balance to ideal levels as well.
The fishing lake at the Gilbert Water Ranch Preserve is managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. People using this lake should follow the posted rules regarding both the fishing activities, and special considerations for the wildlife and habitat at this unique location.
If you were an Arizona raindrop, where would you want to go?
Liquid water on the earth's surface is always being pulled toward the ocean, pulled by gravitational forces from higher points to lower. With all the high points all over Arizona, that means a lot of traveling to get even close to the ocean. In this state, our nearest point to the ocean is where the Colorado River passes through Yuma.
Arizona receives an average of 12 inches of precipitation per year. Some of this precipitation evaporates quickly into the dry air to be carried by global currents to precipitate elsewhere. Water that remains on the surface of the ground follows paths that have been carved out of the land by the flow of water over the centuries. These continual patterns of water flow are described as watersheds. Understanding Arizona's watersheds is critical to understanding Arizona's water supply.
What did the original Arizonan's rely on for getting their water?
The Hohokam of Arizona relied upon their own ingenuity and engineering. Earliest records of humans in the state indicate that as early as 300AD, people of the Sonoran desert were planting crops of agave, corn, beans, squash, and cotton. These farming communities needed a more consistent water supply than this region's rainfall could provide. Evidence suggests this was accomplished by both diverting surface water from rivers and accessing groundwater through wells.
Extensive engineering was required to build the canals that delivered water from the Salt, Gila, Verde, and Colorado rivers. These canals were laid out across an uneven landscape, yet achieved the necessary downhill drop of 1 to 2 feet per mile. Many canals were massive in size – one discovered in Mesa measuring 15 feet deep and 45 feet wide. As villages grew larger and relationships formed between communities, systems connecting canals were developed to manage water supply. Archaeologists consider this networked irrigation system the largest and most sophisticated ever designed in the Americas.
What is that sound of rushing water I hear?
In front of you there are seven control valves that, when opened or closed, allow water to flow to the seven water reclamation basins here at the Preserve. This water fills the basins to about a two foot depth, then begins soaking, or percolating, into the ground. As the water is pulled through the soils by gravity, it is naturally filtered by clay for the first 70 to 80 feet. Then it travels through a more sandy clay for about 20 feet, then gravels and cobbles. At about 150 feet below the surface, the water joins water already flowing between the spaces in the gravels and cobbles, an area known as the aquifer.
The 'wastewater' from Gilbert's homes and businesses is water the Town of Gilbert doesn't want to waste! So after cleaning and treating it thoroughly at our facility near Cooper Road (to a level designated as A+), that water travels through 5 miles of pipe, here, to the Preserve. How much water arrives here depends on how much has left the facility that day, minus the amount purchased for other uses, such as watering the landscape of many businesses throughout town. An average of 4.8 million gallons of water each day flow through this distribution center, which is designed to take up to 8 million gallons a day!
Why isn't every basin kept filled with water?
Changing water levels provide benefits for both people and animals! Treated effluent water is sent through a large pipe to Gilbert's Water Ranch Preserve as part of the Town's water reclamation program. Along the way, some water is used for landscape needs, reducing the use of the Town's drinking water supply for such purposes. It is just the remaining water that fills the preserve's basins, rotating from basin to basin.
The seven basins of the preserve are continuously monitored and analyzed for their percolation qualities. Some basins have soils that allow over a foot of water to percolate through each day! Some absorb the water more slowly. At times, the soils need to be stirred up by disking to facilitate best movement of water, but this work requires that the ground is fully dried out beforehand.
The animals of the preserve enjoy the varied levels of water, from 3 foot depths to just damp mud. In fact, the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is recognized by the National Audubon Society for its shorebird habitat!
Are there swamps in Arizona?
The basins of this preserve are designed to include areas called 'survival zones', where water is ever-present, simulating the swampy, marshy environment for the Arizona wildlife dependent on them.
It's no surprise that areas that accumulate water in Arizona are in short supply. An area that has a fairly consistent water supply is known as a riparian area, and can produce a great deal more vegetation than the surrounding habitat. The diversity of plant life found in these areas provides a range of food for a large variety of animals, and the density of the vegetation provides opportunities for camouflage and shelter.
The soils and plants of these zones act as natural filters for the water flowing through. The mucky soil is home to a variety of creatures, though for some, such as tadpoles and dragonfly nymphs, it's only for one stage in a life cycle.
Are there really Islands at the Riparian Preserve?
Yes, the islands you see were intentionally included in the basin design to create unique habitat areas. These islands are isolated from land, protected from human interference and the vegetation varies somewhat from what is on the basin shores. How many plant types can you see on the island?
The Mesquite tree is a phreatophytes, which is a plant that adapts to the arid environment by growing extremely long roots, allowing them to gather water near the water table. On some islands, you will see Mesquite Bosques (dense forest) like those often found close to the edge of Arizona rivers or washes. Here, the roots of the Mesquite trees can reach deep into the ground water that has percolated down from the surface water above. The seedpods from this tree serve as a nutritious food source for wildlife. When water flows past a mesquite bosque, it often carries seed pods along its way, distributing them to downstream areas. There, they can also serve as food supply, but if uneaten, can be the start of a new Mesquite Bosque!
How does Gilbert determine when to obtain quotes for items vs. posting a bid?
Town of Gilbert Municipal Code governs both Formal (>$50,000) and Informal (<$50,000) Purchases:
Purchases Under $10,000, The Purchasing Department may request quotes or directly purchase goods /services that are valued at less than $10,000.
Purchases $10,000 - $50,000, these purchases require the Town to obtain 3 quotes (verbal or written) or that a sole source justification be utilized prior to purchase.
Purchases > $50,000 require formal solicitation (or use of other approved contracts, or sole source justification), are posted on the Town of Gilbert website and are open to all qualified bidders/proposers.
Does the Gilbert Municipal code apply to Construction Contracts?
Construction Contracts are governed by Arizona State Statutes Title 34 - Public Buildings and Improvements. These purchases are solicited by the appropriate Department (Public Works, Development Services, and Engineering), not by Gilbert Purchasing. Title 34 contains a number of bidding exceptions based on the cost of the work. (See ARS 34-201 C, D, F, and G.) If the cost of the work falls below those thresholds the Title 34 competitive bid requirements do not have to be followed, but the Gilbert Procurement Code has to be followed. Depending on dollar value, they may be formally solicited and posted on the Town website.
Do I need to be pre-qualified to submit a bid or proposal to the Town of Gilbert?
You do not need to pre-qualify to submit a bid or proposal to the Town of Gilbert. However, you should be licensed and/or registered by the appropriate organization for your business. (i.e., the Registrar of Contractors (ROC) as well as a Gilbert business license if your business is located in Gilbert)
How does the Town of Gilbert seek out qualified bidders?
For Formal purchases (>$50,000) we seek qualified bidders in the following ways:
For non-Capital Improvement Project (CIP) purchases, the Town utilizes ProcureAZ.gov to send an email to vendors/contractors registered under specific NIGP code(s) to alert them that a bid/proposal has been posted to the Town of Gilbert website at http://www.gilbertaz.gov/rfp
For Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) purchases, the Town utilizes a Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Vendor’s List located on the Town’s website at http://www.gilbertaz.gov/rfp
How do I view the results of recent bids?
After the bid/proposal opening or deadline for submittals has passed, the Town will post Bid Minutes, List of Offerors, Notice of Apparent Low Bidder, etc. These are usually posted within 48 hours of the bid/proposal deadline for submittals.
Does the Town maintain any vendor lists?
The Town maintains a Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Vendor’s List for construction projects. To be added to the list visit: http://www.gilbertaz.gov/rfp;
Choose the link Request to be placed on the Capital Projects Vendor's List
Does the Town take advantage of any Cooperative Purchasing with other agencies?
Yes, the Town participates in cooperative purchase agreements, including but not limited to, the State of Arizona, US Communities Government Purchasing Alliance, SAVE (Strategic Alliance for Volume Expenditures) and the Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA).
Who at the Town of Gilbert is authorized to enter into contract with vendor?
The following are the authorities granted for entering into contracts:
For purchases less than $50,000, the Department Director has authority to enter into a contract.
For purchases less than $100,000, the Purchasing Officer has been granted authority.
Purchases greater than $100,000 must be approved by Town Council and signed by the Mayor.
What are the Terms and Conditions associated with a Purchase Order (PO)?
The Town of Gilbert Purchase Order Terms and Conditions can be found HERE.
The light is too short, it needs more time!
Usually one of the following three things are occurring;
(a) there is too much traffic,
(b) someone is not paying attention, or
(c) a pre-emption.
Example 1: There is too much traffic. All roadways have a certain capacity and once this is exceeded, the traffic signal cannot clear each movement as is normally expected. During peak traffic hours traffic continuously approaches all directions at some signals during rush hour. All of the movements are given a generous amount of time but it is never enough to clear all of the vehicles in any/or some directions. If any of the movements at that intersection are delayed any longer than they already are, the backup grows exponentially.
Example 2: Someone is not paying attention. You are the fourth vehicle in line waiting to turn left. Normally, the green arrow has enough time to clear all four vehicles but this time the driver of the vehicle in front sped up after initially not realizing the light was green and made it through the yellow leaving you stuck until the next light.
Answer: The driver of the last vehicle that made it through the light was not paying attention causing too much time to elapse between vehicles passing over the detection zone. The signal sensed no more vehicles so it turned yellow.
The signal cycles even when no vehicles are present.
Every signalized intersection has a designated major street or movement, usually the through movement of the major street. All other movements are actuated or on demand. In order to have actuation, some sort of vehicle detection is necessary.
In Gilbert, the most common form of vehicle detection is a magnetic induction loop connected to a detector. This is simply a wire loop embedded into the pavement of each lane at the stop bar that extends back 20, 40 or 60 feet. When a vehicle is over the loop, the signal for that movement is "triggered" or called. Once a green light appears, the signal will stay green as long as it needs up to a set maximum amount of time. If only one or two vehicles are present then the green may last for 10 seconds or so. If 15 vehicles are present then it may stay green for 30 seconds or so. If no vehicles are present, the signal will not cycle to that movement.
Unfortunately, asphalt pavement is relatively soft and loops are very fragile so they often fail. When this occurs, the signal is set to cycle to that movement all of the time for an amount of time consistent with the amount needed during heaviest traffic.
Some signal intersections have been changing to use non-pavement invasive types of vehicle detection - video detection.
Video detection works by continuously taking a "picture" of an approach lane then comparing it to the previous picture. As long as the picture is continuously different than its previous one, the signal will stay green once it begins.
There is not enough pedestrian time to cross the street! The pedestrian signal does not work.
Every pedestrian signal has a WALK followed by a flashing DON’T WALK. Frequently, citizens will report a signal that does not allow enough time to cross the street on the WALK.
The WALK signal means to begin crossing the street and watch out for right turn on red motorists (although the pedestrian legally has the right-of-way, many motorists are not watching for pedestrians). A flashing DON’T WALK means that if one has already begun crossing, continue! The flashing DON’T WALK provides enough time for pedestrians to safely cross the street (MUTCD Traffic Manual using a walking rate of 4 feet per second). Flashing DON’T WALK also means if one has not begun to cross the street, then wait until the next WALK appears after pushing the pedestrian button.
Example: The walk light does not appear or is too short to cross the street.
Answer: First of all, a pedestrian WALK signal will not appear until a certain point during a signal cycle. Pedestrian signals do not make a signal appear any quicker than a concurrent vehicle movement. Once it appears, a WALK of at least 4 seconds indicates to the pedestrian to begin walking; then a flashing DON’T WALK occurs. This means if the pedestrian has begun, complete the crossing.
Why does the light take so long to change?
Traffic Signals that are in a coordinated mode are confined to a cycle length, which is governed by the cycle of a nearby major intersection. All signals along an arterial must have a common cycle length in order to achieve proper progression and burning less fuel.
Within that cycle length, a block of time is allocated to each movement. Each movement can appear only at a certain point in the cycle; once that has occurred, the movement cannot appear again until the next cycle. If a movement does not need all of its allocated time, the unused time becomes available to the next movement; this continues until all of the unused time, if any remains, ultimately is inherited by the main street movement where the cycle “zeros” itself out or begins again.
Cycle lengths vary depending on the time of day. During the AM and PM rush hours, signals have their longest cycle lengths because the major roads must accommodate the greatest amount of traffic. In the midday the cycle lengths are slightly shorter and the shortest cycles typically occur at night.
Do you take credit card payments for license applications and renewals?
Yes, we take credit card payments for license applications and renewals at our offices and on-line.
I work for a 501C3 non-profit organization. Do we need a business license? Do we need to pay a fee?
Yes, 501C3 non-profit organizations in Gilbert must obtain a business license and pay the $35 fee.
I rent commercial property in Gilbert. Do I need a business license?
Yes, a business license is required for each location in Gilbert.
I operate the same business in multiple locations within Gilbert. Do I need more than 1 business license?
Yes, you will need a business location license for each location in Gilbert.
I operate more than 1 business in Gilbert. Do I need a separate business license for each location? If so, do I need to pay the fee for each license?
Individual business licenses are issued for each separate location in Gilbert. A fee is collected for each business license.
I already have a Business License in Gilbert. Do I need a Transient Merchant License to participate in a special event as a vendor?
No, if you already have a Gilbert Business License, you do not need anything else to participate as a vendor in a special event.
What if I do not have a business in Gilbert but I want to sell items at multiple events in Gilbert? Do I have to pay $15 for each event?
No, you can purchase a Transient Merchant Business License for $55 and it will be good for participation in all events for a period of one year.
I do not have a business in Gilbert but I will be selling items at a special event in Gilbert. Do I need a Business License?
Yes, you need to complete a Business License application and declare yourself a Transient Merchant. The fee is $15 per event or $55 for an annual license.
Do I need a TPT License?
If you are selling a product or engaging in a service subject to transaction privilege tax, you will most likely need to obtain the state transaction privilege tax (TPT) license from the Arizona Department of Revenue (commonly referred to as a sales tax, resale, wholesale, vendor or tax license). Details on TPT Licensing can be found at http://www.azdor.gov/Business/TransactionPrivilegeTax.aspx.
What is a TPT License?
A TPT License is a Transaction Privilege TaxLicense, issued by the Arizona Department of Revenue. A Transaction Privilege TaxLicense is also commonly referred to as a sales tax, resale, wholesale, vendor or tax license.
All Business Licenses are renewed yearly. You will receive a renewal notice via email from the Town before your License expires. The renewal fee is $15 for most businesses. Most business licenses can be renewed on-line.
How much does a Business License cost?
$35.00 for most businesses, made payable in cash, check or credit card.
I will be peddling, soliciting, conducting roadside sales, and/or junk collecting in Gilbert: what will I need to do to before conducting business in Gilbert?
You will need to obtain a Transient Merchant Business License from Gilbert.
My business is conducted solely on the internet from my home. Do I still need a Home-Based Business License?
Yes, because your home acts as a headquarters for the business.
Do I need to complete a Home-Based Business Supplement if all my business activities are conducted off site, i.e. landscaping, construction, mobile services, etc?
Yes, because your home acts as a headquarters for the business.
What if I don’t receive my business license certificate within 7 working days?
How long will it take to process my business license application?
Most business license certificates are issued within 7 working days of receipt of an application. Your license will be sent to you via email. If you have not given us an email address, your certificate will be mailed via USPS. You must print out your certificate and place it in a conspicuous place within your business office.
What's drinking water quality report?
Water suppliers must deliver to their customers annual drinking water quality reports or consumer confidence report (CCR). These reports will tell consumers what contaminants have been detected in their drinking water, how these detection levels compare to drinking water standards, and where their water comes from.
What should I do if I turned on a faucet and the water coming out is discolored?
Do not be alarmed. Run your faucets for about five minutes to make sure the water is clear. If the water does not clear within a few minutes, please notify the Water Department at 480-266-6336 or 480-266-6911.
Why some times water coming out of my tap is brown or has sediments in it?
This is caused by sediment in the water mains that is disturbed by fire hydrant maintenance or water main line flushing.
What can cause tap water to smell like bleach?
Chlorine used for disinfection of drinking water may produce a bleach odor in the tap water.
What can cause tap water to taste like salt?
High chloride ion concentration can produce a salty taste in tap water.
What can cause the tap water to be cloudy or milky?
Cloudy water commonly is caused by air in the water. If the cloudiness does not dissipate when the water is allowed to stand, the cloudiness may be due to some other cause. To help determine the cause(s) of cloudiness of your drinking water, please notify the Water Department at 480-266-6336 or 480-266-6911.
Why water is tested for total/fecal coliform only?
EPA considers total/fecal coliform as a useful indicators for the pathogens. Presence or absence of total coliforms determine the adequacy of water treatment and integrity of the distribution system.
How often do you test tap water for total/fecal coliform?
Every day we test tap water for presence/absence of coliforms. We also collect 150 samples each month at the representative sites throughout the town distribution system. Town has it's own water quality lab certified through Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), which performs bacteriological analysis of coliform, implementing EPA-approved methods in-house. The absence of total coliforms in the distribution system minimizes the likelihood that fecal pathogens are present. Thus, total coliforms are used to determine the vulnerability of a system to fecal contamination.
What is E. coli? Where does it come from? How can water be treated to protect against E. coli?
E. coli is short for Escherichia coli.E. coli is a type of fecal coliform bacteria commonly found in the intestines of animals and humans. E. coli comes from human and animal wastes. During rainfalls, snow melts, or other types of precipitation, E. coli may be washed into creeks, rivers, streams, lakes, or groundwater. When these waters are used as sources of drinking water and the water is not treated or inadequately treated, E. coli may end up in drinking water. The water can be treated using chlorine, ultra-violet light, or ozone, all of which act to kill or inactivate E. coli.
What are total coliform bacteria?
Total coliforms are a group of closely related bacteria that are (with few exceptions) not harmful to humans. They are natural and common inhabitants of the soil and ambient waters (e.g., lakes, rivers, and estuaries), as well as the gastrointestinal tracts of animals.
How to set your water softener correctly?
If you decide to purchase a water softener, you need to set it according to the hardness of the tap water. Average hardness for the town water is between 8-10 grains per gallon and setting your softener between 10-12 grains will work. Also, iron is below detection level.
What is the conversion factor for mg/L of hardness to grains per gallon of hardness?
One grain per gallon of hardness is equivalent to 17.1 mg/L (calcium carbonate equivalent).
What are the health effects associated with hard water?
Hard water is not known to cause any adverse health effect.
What is water hardness?
Water hardness represents total concentration of calcium and magnesium ions, reported as calcium carbonate.
Is fluoride in my drinking water safe?
Yes. When added or naturally present in the correct amounts, fluoride in drinking water has greatly improved the dental health of consumers and the treated water is safe to drink.
Does the town fluoridate its drinking water?
Yes. We add fluoride to bring the tap water concentration to about 0.7 mg/L. This is considered the optimum level of fluoridation by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Is my tap water safe to drink?
Yes. We test our drinking water continuously to assure quality. We meet or exceed health based standards for tap water quality.
What I can do to avoid taste and odor in my tap water?
Although harmless, it can affect the taste and smell of your drinking water even at very low concentrations. The best way to reduce taste and odor is to run the faucet for several minutes, put some water in a container, and refrigerate it before drinking.
My tap water sometimes has a funny taste and smell. What's wrong with it?
At times, during the summer months of July through October, water can have an unusual taste, odor or appearance. Aesthetic characteristics generally do not pose a public health threat.
Chlorine or chemical tastes or odors are usually caused by the addition of chlorine to the water or the interaction of chlorine with organic matter.
Moldy, musty, earthy tastes or odors are commonly caused by seasonal occurrences when organic matter such as plants or algae are more prevalent in lakes, reservoirs, and the canals that deliver the water to water treatment facilities. These things are removed as the water is treated but harmless residual odors will remain in the water.
Is my physical fitness condition a requirement?
Firefighting is a very physically demanding profession. We encourage those who are interested in a career in the fire service to maintain the highest level of physical fitness possible. This will not only be beneficial during the testing process but it will be of benefit throughout your career. Information is power. Seek every opportunity to speak with those in the field, those who teach and those who are testing right beside you. The knowledge you gain can take you far in the testing process.
Is there an opportunity for a ride-along?
The Fire Department simply doesn’t have the resources to offer ride-alongs to those involved in the recruitment and selection process, so unfortunately the answer is “no.”
Will I be reimbursed for travel expenses during the selection process?
Please note that the Town of Gilbert will not reimburse candidates for any travel related costs incurred during the recruitment/hiring process.
What is a Recruit Academy?
Once selected for the Recruit Academy a conditional job offer is made pending background investigations and a thorough medical evaluation (a two-month process). Upon successful completion of these steps an individual becomes a full-time employee with the Gilbert Fire Department. Recruits will then begin a Monday-Friday, twelve-week full-time academy. After completing the academy, the firefighter will be assigned to either an engine or ladder company. The firefighter is rotated 3 times over this next year to give him/her exposure to different stations and Captains.
What is an Intern Academy?
After the interviews are complete, a list of candidates is formed and invitations are made to these individuals to attend an Intern Academy. The current Intern Academy is a two-day-a-week commitment that lasts three weeks. Those who are selected and accept, volunteer their time for three hours on Tuesday night and all day on Saturdays. The Intern Academy is a useful selection tool, enabling the Town of Gilbert to select the best candidates for our regular Academies.
What type of education do I need to have?
At the time of application you must posses a high school diploma or GED. The Gilbert Fire Department also encourages those who are applying to enroll in college courses related to the fire service. Applicants are not required to have their State Certification for Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2. This will be obtained during the Recruit Academy. Another job requirement for full-time firefighters is to be certified in the State of Arizona as an Emergency Medical Technician or EMT. At the time a conditional job offer is made for full-time employment, candidates must posses and maintain a current Arizona State Emergency Medical Technician(EMT) certification. Job offers are completed during pre-employment screening, this occurs after the Intern Academy and before the Recruit Academy. Candidates from out of state need to contact the Arizona Department of Health Services to obtain information on “challenging” the Arizona test to obtain the necessary certification. The main number to ADHS is (602) 542-1000.
How old do I have to be in order to become a firefighter?
You must be at least eighteen years of age at the time of application.
Is Gilbert Fire currently recruiting?
To view current job opportunities, please go to our on-line employment center web page.
Does the Department accommodate out-of-state applicants?
The Gilbert Police Department makes every attempt to conduct as much of the required testing in the amount of time an out-of-state applicant is here. Each step of the testing process is contingent upon successful completion of the test that precedes it. For example, if an out-of-state applicant passes the written test, they are invited to participate in the physical agility test the next day with the other applicants. If they pass the physical agility test, they will be given an oral board interview that same day. Should they pass the oral board interview they may be given a background interview and polygraph examination, time permitting.
What should I wear to the written test?
There are no rules regarding the attire.
Where do I turn in the application?
You may drop off the Town of Gilbert Employment Application at the Gilbert Municipal Center employment counter, or mail it to the Town of Gilbert, attention Human Resources, 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert, Arizona 85296. The Arizona POST Statement of Personal History should be completed and brought with you to the physical agility test. It will be collected there should you pass the test.
Can I retake the written test if I've already passed the written, physical agility, and oral board interviews?
If you have already passed the initial tests (written, physical agility, oral board interview) and are still on the selection list, you are not eligible to retest unless or until the list expires.
What if I've taken the test before and failed?
You may take the written test as many times as you like, however you must complete another application and background packet for each test you take.
Are there any age limits in order to become an officer?
You must be at 21 years old by the time you graduate from the Academy. There are no maximum age limits.
When do I take the physical fitness test?
The physical agility test is administered the next day to applicants who pass the written test.
Do Out-of-State Lateral Officers take a written test?
What is an Out-of-State Lateral Police Officer?
To be considered an out-of-state lateral police applicant, you must currently be employed as a police officer, or have been actively working two of the past three years: or have (1) served solely as Tribal officers and have not been certified by another state, or (2) Federal officers who have served solely in agencies with limited or specialty enforcement missions. If you have any questions as to whether you qualify as an out-of-state lateral officer, call (480) 503-6500 and ask to speak to a background investigator.
What is a Lateral Police Officer?
To be considered a lateral police officer, you must currently be Arizona POST certified and have worked at least 2080 hours (1-year full-time) post Academy for an Arizona law enforcement agency. If you have any questions as to whether you qualify as a lateral officer, call (480) 503-6500 and ask to speak to a background investigator.
How will I know if I pass the written test?
Test scores are posted within approximately one hour of completing the written test. Scores are posted according to the last five digits of the applicant’s social security number.
How long does the written test take?
The written test takes approximately two and a half hours and consists of a series of video scenarios, a reading, and report writing test. There are no study guides for the written test.
Where Do I File Landlord/Tenant, Small Claims & Other Cases?
Most cases involving resolution of civil disputes must be filed in either Superior Court or Justice of The Peace Court . Matters involving less than $2500 may be filed in the Small Claims division of the Justice Court. Landlord/Tenant disputes, actions for breach of contract, property disputes, injunctions, probate, domestic relations, child custody, and the like, are not within the jurisdiction of the Gilbert Municipal Court.
If you have a matter involving any of these issues, and reside within the Town of Gilbert, you should contact either:
Highland Justice Court
55 E. Civic Center Dr, Ste 55
Gilbert, AZ 85296
Superior Court Of Arizona
222 East Javelina Avenue
Mesa, Arizona 85210
I was dissatisfied with my attorney’s services; what should I do?
If your attorney was a public defender out of this Court, complete a public defender survey form and mail it to the Court Administrator. You may report all suspected attorney malpractice complaints, for private attorneys and public defenders, to the State Bar of Arizona. If you were convicted of a crime after a trial, you may also consider filing a criminal appeal or a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief. See Ariz.R.Crim.P. 32 for more information. You may also consider seeking advice from a different attorney, to examine your legal options.
I was found guilty at trial; how do I file an appeal?
File a Notice of Appeal form within 14 days of your sentencing date. The judge will then mail you additional instructions and deadlines. Your sentence will be stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.
I can’t afford a private attorney; how do I apply for a public defender?
File a written motion and the attached financial affidavit. If an attorney is appointed for you, you will receive the attorney’s contact information and your next court date by mail. If you receive no ruling before your next scheduled court date, you should appear as ordered.
Can I go to Defensive Driving School to get a criminal ticket dismissed?
In criminal speeding cases only, the judge may authorize DDS as a form of deferred judgment in a criminal case. This decision falls solely within the discretion of the sentencing judge after determining the defendant’s eligibility for the program. School is not available as a diversion program for any other criminal traffic offense.
What if I need an interpreter or disability accommodation for my court date?
The Court is required to provide reasonable accommodations for all litigants and required parties. Please note that parties in a criminal case may not use their own friends and family as court interpreters; an official court interpreter must be appointed by the Court. If you need any physical accommodations to appear in court, such as a hearing-impairment interpreter or access to medications or medical devices while at the courthouse, please put your concerns in writing and fax or mail them to:
Court Administrator Gilbert Municipal Court 55 E. Civic Center Blvd. Gilbert, AZ 85296
Main (480) 635-7800 FAX (480) 635-7820.
Unless you receive a written continuance from the Court before your scheduled court date, you should assume that the accommodation can be met and you must appear as directed. If you need an interpreter for any non-English language, please call 480-635-8840 (Spanish line) or fax or mail your request to:
Court Administrator Gilbert Municipal Court 55 E. Civic Center Blvd. Gilbert, AZ 85296
Main (480) 635-7800 FAX (480) 635-7820.
You may also appear in person on your scheduled date and have an English-speaking friend or family member ask the judge to reset the case after an interpreter has been appointed.
Do I need an attorney to represent me in my criminal case?
No, an attorney is not required. You may represent yourself if you are comfortable doing so. If you wish to be represented by an attorney, you may hire a private attorney of your choice or apply for a public defender from this Court. The represented defendant should communicate with the Court through the attorney and NOT directly with the Court.
Can I get a restraining order against (or for) a juvenile?
Yes, as long as the juvenile(s) in question is over 12 years old. If they are under 12, you must file your petition in juvenile court. If you are seeking to protect a juvenile and you are the parent or guardian, you should list yourself as the plaintiff and the juvenile as a protected party. If you are seeking an order against a juvenile, you should list the juvenile as the defendant. The parents of all juvenile defendants must also be served with the order before it can be enforced.
Can I get a protective order against more than one person?
You will have to file a separate Petition for each person from whom you are seeking protection. Each person will then have to be served with their individual order before the order becomes enforceable.
How can I serve the defendant if I don’t know his/her address?
The court clerk will give you the defendant’s copy of the protective order. If the defendant contacts you, you should call 911 immediately and have the police serve the defendant at that time. In the alternative, you may hire a private process server to locate and serve the defendant, based on alternate information that you can provide for them.
I got the protective order served, now what do I do?
Keep a copy of the order on your person at all times. Make sure that other protected persons keep their copies on them at all times also. Make sure all protected locations, such as employers and schools, keep a copy on file in the event the defendant attempts contact there. Notify friends and family that you have a protective order, so that they can help report any suspected violations. Keep an updated address and phone number with the Gilbert Municipal Court at all times. If the court notifies you of a hearing date, be sure to appear at the hearing or the order can be dismissed in your absence.
What if the defendant violates the order?
If you suspect any violation of a served protective order, report it directly to 911 wherever you are when the violation occurs. Keep any evidence, such as phone records, photographs, journals, and messages, in the event the State has to prove the violation later. The police will then decide whether to charge the defendant with Interference with Judicial Proceedings, a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona. Your protective order protects you statewide and nationwide.
There are additional locations/persons I need to protect now; can I modify the order?
Yes. You will have to come back to Court during business hours to file a modification request. If the judge grants the modified order, you will have to ensure that the defendant is served with the modified order before it can be enforced.
How do I fight a protective order that is pending against me?
File a written request for a protective order hearing. If you have not already had a hearing opportunity in the case, the judge will mail you a hearing date. In some cases that are time-sensitive, the court may attempt to notify you of the hearing date by phone. Keep an updated phone number with the court at all times for this reason. At the hearing, you are entitled to be represented by a private attorney and present evidence and witnesses if you wish. The plaintiff will have the burden of proving that the order should remain in effect.
How to do I get my court date postponed?
If you must request a postponement of any scheduled court date, you must file a motion in writing and fax or mail it to the court. The judge will rule on your request and mail you the ruling. Urgent motions should be faxed and marked ‘urgent’ for the fastest service. If you do not receive the judge’s ruling before you scheduled court date, you must appear as originally ordered. If you fail to appear for a criminal case, the case may proceed to trial, you may be convicted in your absence, and a warrant may issue for your arrest. If you fail to appear for a civil traffic case, a default judgment may be entered against you in the full amount of the fine, the amount may be sent to collections, and MVD may impose additional consequences against you.
Is jury service mandatory?
To find out whether to report on the summons date, please call the Jury Line (480) 635-7990.
To request an excusal or postponement from jury service, please contact the Jury Commissioner by following the instructions on your summons.
To request accommodation for a disability, impairment or handicap, or to request a foreign language or hearing-impaired interpreter for a court proceeding, please contact the Gilbert Court Administrator by mail no later than thirty days before your summons date at:
Court Administrator Gilbert Municipal Court 55 E. Civic Center Blvd. Gilbert, AZ 85296
My license has been suspended. How do I get it back?
If the suspension is the result of a citation from the Gilbert Municipal Court, you should call the court at 480-635-7800 for information.
What methods of payment does the Court take?
The court takes cash, personal checks, and money orders. Payments can be made by and MASTERCard / VISA / DISCOVER, but are subject to a convenience fee of $2.50 + 3.5% of the amount paid and must be made at CitepayUSA.com.
If the defendant has a warrant and wants to post bond the court takes: Cash or money order only.
If the defendant’s case has been sent to collections, he/she must pay the Valley Collection Service. Call Valley Collection Service at (623) 931-4325
Option to make payments online is now available. (Please have your case number or citation number in order to pay on-line)
In order to make your payment on-line, here is the following criteria:
Civil traffic and criminal violations and
Violation date must be on or after Sept 19, 2007 (see citation to find violation date) and
If your violation does not require a court appearance or
Case has been assessed by the court with an outstanding balance
The defendant must appear in court immediately to see the sentencing judge or file a motion for an amended order of confinement.
I missed my payment. What do I do?
If you have missed your payment, please call the Court (480) 635-7800 or appear in person for specific information on the status of your case.
Gilbert Municipal Court 55 E Civic Center Drive Gilbert, AZ 85296
I have a warrant for my arrest. What do I do?
The defendant must appear in court and post the bond in CASH ONLY and have the warrant quashed and a court date issued to come back to see a judge.
I missed by court date. What now?
Civil Traffic Cases - The defendant has defaulted and now owes the full amount of the fine. Contact a civil traffic clerk to determine the fine amount.
Criminal Cases - More than likely the judge has already requested a warrant be issued for the defendant. The defendant should be instructed to report to the court as soon as possible to address the failure to appear.
Can I have more time to complete the defensive driving school program?
No, the defendant must appear at the arraignment session or an open court session and the judge will allow a reasonable amount of time for you to complete the defensive driving school program.
I want to change my court date. What do I do?
Civil Traffic Cases - The defendant may attend an open court session prior to their scheduled court date. Open Court is currently held on Friday morning and begins promptly at 8:00am and 10:00am.
If the defendant cannot attend an open court session prior to the scheduled court date he/she must file a written motion in person or fax.
Criminal Case - The defendant must file a written motion in person or by fax. (It should never be assumed that when you file a motion, that your court date is changed. If there is no ruling by a Judge then the defendant should appear as ordered.)
What items are not allowed in the court building?
The Gilbert Municipal Court maintains a staff of security guards who will require all members of the public to pass through metal detectors before entering the court lobby. Security will ensure that all devices are switched to a non-audible or vibrate mode. The following items will not be permitted in the court building:
Use of tobacco products
Firearms and any other deadly weapons
Food and beverages, other than baby bottles and necessary medications. Water bottles are not permitted; there are public water fountains available throughout the courthouse. And court staff can provide water in the courtrooms on an emergency basis.
Children are permitted in the courthouse, however their presence in the courtrooms during court proceedings may be precluded by the judges, depending on the nature of the proceedings and the child’s ability to remain quiet. No childcare is available in the courthouse, however there is a small unsupervised play area in the courthouse lobby designed for very young children whose parents are with them.
Cameras in the courthouse are permitted with the advance approval of the Presiding Judge.
What kinds of cases does the Gilbert Municipal Court handle?
The Gilbert Municipal Court handles the following types of cases:
misdemeanor criminal offenses, such as Driving Under the Influence, Shoplifting, Assault, Disorderly Conduct, Dog at Large, Municipal code violations and Commercial vehicle violations; and
protective orders, such as Orders of Protection and Injunctions Against Harassment; and
civil traffic violations, such as Speeding, No Insurance, Improper Turn.
The Gilbert Municipal Court does not handle the following types of cases:
This Court does not handle felony criminal offenses, small claims, or civil suits filed by private citizens or corporations. For more information about these types of cases, please contact the Maricopa County Superior Court.
This Court does not handle misdemeanors or civil traffic violations that occur outside the Town of Gilbert boundaries. For more information about these types of cases, please contact the municipal court for the city in which the offense allegedly occurred.
This Court also does not issue marriage licenses. For marriage license information, please contact the Clerk of the Maricopa County Superior Court. However, the judges of the Gilbert Municipal Court are authorized to conduct marriage ceremonieswithin the state of Arizona and at the Gilbert courthouse during non-business hours. Please contact the Court at 480-635-7800 for more information about fees and judicial availability.
What if I currently have a lease on my rental property?
Many leases contain a clause that states the tenant will pay any applicable taxes due. We recommend that you
review your current lease document and, if necessary, seek appropriate legal advice.
If you do not include a separate charge to your tenant for the taxes, you will calculate a factored tax deduction and deduct this amount on your tax return. Information on calculating a factored tax deduction can be found in our hints for completing the monthly TPT-1.
If a landlord lives in Gilbert but only owns rental property outside of Gilbert Town limits, does he or she still need a Gilbert Tax License (TPT)?
No, a Gilbert license is not required if all of the property is located outside of Gilbert. However, the landlord should contact the city where the rentals are located to determine their specific licensing requirements.
My property is managed by a property management company. Can they obtain my license and file my returns?
A property management company may complete the license application for the property owner; however, the
property owner must sign the application. Monthly forms will need to be submitted for the property reporting the rent amount and the tax collected.
Many property management companies collect the tax from the tenants and submit under their TPT number on behalf of the property owner. Please verify with your property management company that they provide this service. It is the responsibility of the property owner to make sure that the tax is submitted according to law.
My unit is currently vacant; do I still need to file a return?
Yes, even if you had zero rental income, you are still required to file a return. On the return you will indicate no activity for the reporting period by entering zero in the revenue column.
How do I remit my transaction privilege tax (TPT) due to the Town?
Gilbert is a “program city” with the Arizona Department of Revenue (AZDOR) which means that current tax is paid through them. Owners of residential rental units will be required to report their income & remit the tax to AZDOR on a monthly basis. The monthly report is always due by the 20th of the following month after the rent was received from your tenant. For example, if a residential unit becomes subject to tax on October 1st, the first tax return will cover the period of October 1st through October 31st and is due November 20th.
Tax returns are available online at www.azdor.gov under the forms tab. You will look in TPT and the form is titled TPT-1. You may also complete and file online at www.aztaxes.gov.
How much is the license fee?
There is a one-time license fee of $2.00 per property address. You will indicate on the license application (JT-1) that the License Type is “TPT for Cities Only” (Section A, Question #1). You will list the property address in Question #12 in the same section (Section A) “Physical Location of Business”. For additional properties, you will complete Section B, Questions 12-25.
I have been renting my property since at least October 2010, how do I pay my past due taxes?
You may report & pay your past due Privilege Tax for all periods PRIOR to obtaining a Gilbert Privilege Tax License directly through the Town of Gilbert. Please complete our Residential Rental Past Due Tax Calculation Worksheet – and submit. Your information will be sent to the Gilbert Tax Compliance Division. A representative will contact you with your past due tax amount and provide instructions on how to make a payment.
I have a residential rental property in Gilbert, what do I need to do?
There are 4 steps for you to do:
STEP 1 - Report & Pay your PAST DUEPrivilege Tax for all periods PRIOR to obtaining a Gilbert Privilege Tax License. (Please complete our Residential Rental Past Due Tax Calculation Worksheet and submit. Your information will be sent to the Gilbert Tax Compliance Division. A representative will contact you with your past due tax amount and provide instructions on how to make a payment).
What was the effective date of this change and what is the tax rate?
October 1, 2010 - The tax rate is 1.5%
What change occurred to the Town of Gilbert Municipal Code regarding residential rentals?
On June 22, 2010, the Town Council approved the elimination of the exemption pertaining to residential rental units and signed Ordinance 2294 on July 27, 2010. As a result, all residential rental property located in the Town of Gilbert is subject to 1.5% transaction privilege (sales) tax. Previously, the ordinance only applied to property owners who owned three or more residential rental units in the State.
Is the rental of residential real property taxable?
Yes, residential rentals are taxable at 1.5% for Gilbert tax only. Residential rentals are not taxed by the State or County. Commercial and Residential Rental Tax Guidelines
Exemption: None – there is no longer an exemption for Residential Rentals, beginning on October 1st, 2010 all residential rentals are taxable.
Is the rental of commercial real property taxable?
Yes, commercial rentals are taxable at 1.5% for Gilbert and 0.5% for the County for a combined total of 2.0%. Commercial and Residential Rental Tax Guidelines.
Are internet sales taxable?
Yes, items sold by a business located in Gilbert via the internet to Arizona residents are taxable at the State/County rate and the Gilbert rate and must be reported on the TPT-1 form.
Are sales to the Town of Gilbert taxable?
Yes, all sales (except sales for resale) that you make to the Town are taxed in the same manner as other taxable sales.
What if I don’t collect the tax from my customers?
It is the responsibility of the business to remit transaction privilege tax. Whether you collect it from your customers or not, the tax liability for all taxable business conducted in Gilbert must be remitted.
How do I calculate my taxes due?
Taxes are calculated by stating the gross receipts for the reporting period on the tax return, entering the itemized deductions, then multiplying the resulting net taxable amount by the appropriate tax rate (6.3% for the State/County and 1.5% for Gilbert).
What region code and business class should I use when reporting Gilbert tax on the TPT-1 form?
The region code for Gilbert is “GB” and the business class is “000” except for hotel/motel which is “003”.
How do I pay Gilbert tax?
The Arizona Department of Revenue collects Gilbert tax along with the State and County tax. Report your Gilbert tax on your State form TPT-1 which is available online.
What is the current transaction privilege (sales) tax rate?
The current transaction privilege tax rate for Gilbert is 1.5% and for the State/County combined is 6.3% for a total of 7.8%. There is an additional Gilbert tax for hotels/motels of 3.0%.
What is a "Program City"?
"Program City" is a municipality that has an agreement with the Arizona Department of Revenue to act as the collecting agent for transaction privilege tax and remit it back to the municipality.
How do I obtain a Transaction Privilege (Sales) Tax license?