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News at Clay Rural Water System

2023 Jack & Arlene DeVany Scholarship Winners

The Clay Rural Water System Board of Directors has announced that Macy Quartier of Beresford, Irelyn Fickbohm of Beresford, and Sophia Giorgio of Elk Point-Jefferson are recipients of the water systems annual scholarship program – the Jack and Arlene DeVany Scholarship Program.

Macy Quartier will graduate from Beresford High School this spring and plans to attend SDSU this fall. Her major is currently undecided. She is the daughter of Randy & Christina Quartier.

Beresford High School Senior, Irelyn Fickbohm plans to pursue a social worker degree at USD this fall. Irelyn is the daughter of Ryan and Melissa Fickbohm.

Sophia Giorgio, a Senior at Elk Point-Jefferson High School, is the daughter of Amy & John Giorgio. Her future plans include pursuing a major in Social Work and a minor in criminal justice, catholic studies, or women and gender studies at Avila University in Kansas City.

The Clay Rural Water System scholarship is named in honor of the water systems long-time attorney, the late Jack DeVany and his wife Arlene, a long-time educator. This is the 31st year of the program.

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Irelyn Fickbohm - Beresford High School

Macy Quartier - Beresford High School

Sophia Giorgio - Elk Point Jefferson High School


At the April 2023 Board Meeting scholarship winners were presented their awards by the Scholarship Committee .

2023 Annual Meeting

On March 21, 2023 Clay Rural Water System held their formal annual meeting at the Vermillion Armory .  The meal was made and served by Heck's Dakota Style BBQ.  62 Members attended and over 100 people were present for the meal and meeting.  Members were presented with reports from the board of directors, system manager and engineers.  The system's attorney presented changed for the by laws and articles of incorporation. 


Clay Rural Water Awarded 2022 System of the Year 

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At the recent Annual Technical Conference held in Pierre, South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems awarded Clay Rural Water System the “System of the Year” award for 2022.

CRWS is located in the southeast corner of South Dakota and serves all of Clay and Union Counties, and parts of Lincoln, Turner, and Yankton Counties. The System has eight full-time employees: Steve Muilenburg, System Manager; Donna Henriksen, Office Manager; Leanne Brown, Accounting; Pam Lunning, Controller; Rob Ganschow, Chief Treatment Plant Operator; Andy Ganschow, Chief Distribution Operator; Phil Iverson, System Operator; and Lane Severson, System Operator.

The System has the original treatment plant located near Wakonda, South Dakota and a second treatment plant located near McCook Lake, South Dakota. The system also has seven storage reservoirs to maintain and five booster stations. Recent challenges that have faced CRWS is the growth of 1-4 family dwellings, large livestock facilities, commercial and industrial growth and the capacity to provide quality water at an affordable price to the consumer. Over the course of the past years CRWS has seen many changes and challenges; but specifically in the last three years.

After 37 years with the same manager, a new manager had to be named to the system and at that time the system was undergoing a new project to make updates to waterlines and a booster station to provide better water pressure in areas of the system.

CRWS has needed to work with a treatment plant that has reached its capacity of water treatment and usage. The plant was not meant to meet the current demands of water usage and new sources needed to be procured to meet water capacity needs. In doing this CRWS reached out to Lewis & Clark and procured contracts with communities to purchase water to assist with high demand times. These demands are the result of the growth and drought.

The board of directors and manager are diligently working on upgrades to the system with another project underway and a final project of seeking the financing of a new water treatment facility to replace the existing plant located near Wakonda.

The board of directors, manager and staff have done an outstanding job over the past years to have the insight to take the system into the next 40 plus years of operation. They understand that water is a priceless commodity and are committed to providing high quality water service to the consumers of the corporation.

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