System History

The formation of the Clay Rural Water System was the result of a desire to obtain better quality water and to work together as a rural community.

Following an area-wide survey on water quality in January 1975, the system was incorporated and had signed up 1,107 locations for a feasibility study by September of that same year.  Five years later the System was fully operational.

A Review of the Significant Development Events of the Water System

  • Idea for System forms in 1973 and 1974 because of comments and questions regarding sources and quality

  • January 1975: Area-wide survey conducted

  • March 1975:  Informational meetings held

  • April 1975:  Advisory Board selected

  1. Ernest Schmidt - Vermillion

  2. Kenneth Mockler - Vermillion

  3. Jens Hansen - Burbank

  4. Ray Schulz - Vermillion

  5. Melvin Walz - Wakonda

  6. Willard Jensen - Beresford

  7. Donald Huth - Wakonda

  8. Russell Anderson - Wakonda

  9. Loren Johnson - Beresford

  10. Darrel W. Johnson - Burbank

  11. Arnold Larson - Beresford

  12. Robert Schurrer - Vermillion (Clay County Extension Office)

  13. Roger Strom - Centerville

  14. John S. DeVany - Vermillion

  • April 29, 1975: First organizational meeting held at 4-H Center in Vermillion with 60 rural residents in attendance.  Twelve-member steering committee elected, later becomes Board of Directors.

  • July 21, 1975:  System becomes incorporated

  • Summer 1975:  Board and approximately 38 volunteers assist with sign-ups for feasibility study.  By September 1,017 have signed on.

  • January 1976:  Engineering Feasibility Study completed.  Decision made to proceed.

  • February 1976:  Final sign-up meetings in four locations in 3 days yield 730 hookups.  Later sign-ups bring total to 980.

  • Fall 1976:  Final engineering design

  • Fall 1977:  Funding secured for $4.5 million

  • April 1978:  Bids awarded, construction begins

  • October 1980:  Construction completed.  1,050 users served

  • August 1982:  Town of Wakonda connects

  • 1986:  Added User Project adds 75 new users.

  • 1988:  Office and Shop building constructed

  • 1989:  Original system debt refinanced, saving $4.4 million

  • 1991:  Added User Project adds 75 new users

  • 1995:  $1.4 million water plant improvement project

  • 1996:  Town of Gayville connects

  • 1997:  Added User Project adds 175 users

  • 1999:  Third well, storage building constructed

  • 2001:  Added User Project adds 175 users

  • 2005:  Greenfield Supply Project adds 15 miles of new pipeline and water treatment plant/booster station.

  • 2005-2006:  $5.7 million South Union Project adds 300 new users, water plant and water tower.

  • 2010-2011:  $3 million Capital Improvements Project, makes numerous system improvements, adds 96 new users

  • 2012:  Three new lime sludge lagoons are constructed at the Wakonda plant at a cost of $650,000

  • 2012-2015:  Automatic meter reading system installed at a cost of $700,000

  • 2019-current:  System capital improvements project, replacing booster, adding additional meter reading towers, additional pipeline and replaced Supervisory Control And Data Acquistion (SCADA) system.

Original Board_edited.jpg