Watertower, Middakota Rural Water System, Highmore, South Dakota
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NGComets
N 44° 31.642 W 099° 29.568
14T E 460841 N 4930567
Quick Description: Watertower, part of a rural system of water supply in South Dakota.
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 10/9/2009 5:43:33 AM
Waymark Code: WM7DE3
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Faithwalker & DaMama
Views: 3

Long Description:
Located just east of Mile Marker 275 on US Highway 14, near Highmore, SD.

Many of the residents of central South Dakota dealt with water problems that were either expensive to remedy or could not be rectified. Because of these problems, it was requested by a group of people that the local water development board, Cendak Water Development District, later known as the Mid-Dakota Water Development District, investigate if there would be interest in doing something similar to the rural water system to the north, WEB Rural Water System. The board sponsored several hearings throughout the area and found that there was a great deal of interest, a steering committee was formed to help with the collection of good intention fees which was used to conduct a feasibility study which was completed by Dewild Grant Reckert and Associates, an engineering firm in Rock Rapids, IA.

A separate interim board (consisting of Susan Hargens, Orient; Earl & Marilou Briggs, Pierre; and Duane Aymar, Miller) was formed to set up the corporation, signing the Articles of Incorporation in December of 1987. They then formed a eleven-member board who would govern the new Mid-Dakota Rural Water System, Inc. The members of the eleven-member board were Chairwoman, Susan Hargens, Orient; Vice-Chairman, Eugene Warriner, Blunt; Secretary/Treasurer, Warren Porter, Highmore; Duane Aymar, Miller; Gerald Gregg, Harrold, Johnny Gross, Onida; Orville Haiwick, Highmore; Gerald Kutzler, Huron; Donald Olson, Huron; Morris Simon, Gettysburg; and Kermit Wulff, Gann Valley. The Mid-Dakota project was expanded to include Potter, Buffalo, Aurora, Sanborn, Jerauld, and a very small part of Kingsbury counties. The entire project now covers a 7,000 square mile area or the approximately size of the state of New Jersey.

The water development district, a taxing entity, was instrumental in getting the Mid-Dakota project off the ground. In the beginning, they helped to lobby the state and federal government and furnished the office and staff that worked with the project’s directors to get federal authorization and funding. There was a confusion with the district and the rural water system having the same name, so the district changed its name once again to become the Central Plains Water Development District.

In 1992, the staff, Board of Directors and steering committee all worked to collect hookup fees ($500.00 for household hookups, $350.00 for seasonal and pasture taps, etc.) There were over 100 signup meetings throughout the area and all the information collected was sent to Mid-Dakota engineers, Bartlett & West Engineers, Topeka, KS, to be placed in a final engineering study which was hand-delivered to Washington, DC. After this, the Mid-Dakota Rural Water System project was authorized in a bill signed by President George H. W. Bush entitled P.L. 102-575. In 1992, the board also expanded their number to 13 members by changing the make-up of the board from eleven rural directors to ten rural directors, two municipal at large and one director from the City of Huron. Duane Aymar, Miller had previously resigned from the board so the remaining ten rural directors stayed on; Dr. John Carr, Miller and Gene Robbennolt, Gettysburg were the municipal at large directors; and Doug Fosheim was the director from the City of Huron.

After authorization, Mid-Dakota would have the funding to pay their staff so the district turned the staff over to the project and worked out an agreement where Mid-Dakota staff worked for the water development district board for a period of time. Central Plains Water Development District is now headquartered in Pierre and has its own separate staff. Staffing for Mid-Dakota has grown from a Manager and Secretary to a staff in 2005 of 31 people.

Construction on the Mid-Dakota intake began in September of 1994 and the water treatment plant commenced in March of 1995. It was first believed that the project would be completed within a six year period, but with funding below the requested amount on an annual basis, actual completion wasn't until the year 2006 (double that time). In the span of 18 years, a problem was identified and with cooperation of many individuals working on the local, state, and federal levels, a solution was found and Mid-Dakota Rural Water System is that solution.

Statistics about the Project:

Cost - Initially, the Mid-Dakota was estimated to cost $108.4 million dollars. The funding package that was procured with the authorization of the project was $85 million federal grant, $15 million federal loan and $8.4 million state grant. The good intention fees paid by the water users go towards repayment of the federal loan. Because of inflation, the numbers have risen and so did everyone’s portion of the funding package. The state has paid the grant they committed to but not before it rose to $9.67 million. The estimated cost of the rural water system is now over $150 million dollars.

Water Source – Missouri River at Corps Bay north of Oahe Dam.

Area Served – Covering a land area of approximately 7,000 square miles including all of Hughes, Sully, Hyde, Hand, Beadle and parts of Potter, Faulk, Spink, Kingsbury, Sanborn, Aurora, Jerauld, Buffalo counties.

Population – Mid-Dakota will serve a population of approximately 30,000 people and is currently serving 18 municipalities, 2 community systems and 2,350 rural hookups. When the project is complete, it will serve 24 municipalities, 3 community systems and 3,130 rural and seasonal hookups.

Distribution – The system currently has 2,340 miles of distribution pipeline, 89 miles of mainline pipeline, and 10 storage tanks constructed and in operation. The storage tanks range from 100,000 gallons to 1,500,000 gallons and the capacity of the tanks combined adds up to 4,000,000 gallons total. The 250,000-gallon Ames storage tank is constructed but not currently in service.

Treatment Process – The Oahe Water Treatment Plant is a direct filtration plant. It is designed to process 9 million gallons per day (MGD), but has been having an average output of 1.6 MGD. Chemicals are added that cause particles to stick to each other forming larger clumps that are easily filtered out in the filtration beds. Chlorine and ammonia are added to form chloramines which is a longer lasting disinfectant. Fluoride is also added to aid in fighting tooth decay. The water has been 14.3 grains hard and there is no softening of the water during the treatment process. The temperature of the water going in is around 47 degrees while the water leaving the plant is around 51 degrees.

Courtesy of Website

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dbrockhouse visited Watertower, Middakota Rural Water System, Highmore, South Dakota 10/30/2011 dbrockhouse visited it