March 7, 2002

Rural Water Considering Switch To Lake Rathbun

The approximately 1,500 customers of the Consolidated Public Water Supply District #1 (CPWSD#1) in Scotland County may be making a switch. According to representatives of the district, the water service is considering a switch from the Memphis City Water Plant to Rathbun Regional Water Association of Centerville, IA.

The CPWSD#1 is currently pursuing a $1.5 million project to make the transition possible. The district is hoping to secure at least half of the proposed project cost in state and federal grant money.

Public funding of the proposal is still up in the air, keeping the transition in the tentative stages.

In 2001 the CPWSD#1 used 70,401,800 gallons of water. The district is contracted to use as much as six million gallons a month from the Memphis city water supply.

The massive increase in water demand by the rural water district had placed the city system at or over capacity. When funding could not be secured to build a new city water plant, the rural district began searching for alternative sources.

The proposed switch to Lake Rathbun water would not necessitate a huge piping project. The Rathbun district already serves Davis County just across the Iowa line.

In order to supply Scotland County, a six-inch line would be built down from the Iowa line approximately one quarter of a mile from the Barker Church in northwest Scotland County. A new 170-foot water tower would be built on high ground somewhere in this region, giving the district a 200,000 gallon storage facility. A new line would then be built from the tower to the pump station west of town where additional upgrades would be made at the booster station.

The district stressed that the project is in the planning stages. The key to the transition is securing financing for the proposal.

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