WEB Water Development Association, Inc. was recently named “Rural Water System of the Year” by the South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems at their Annual Technical Conference in Pierre, SD on January 15, 2015.
WEB Water started as a dream in December of 1975 like many of the other rural water systems. A group of community leaders from a tri-county area, Walworth, Edmunds and Brown Counties, got together to discuss options for water. From those meetings, grew one of the largest water systems in the United States – when measured by miles of pipe and square miles of service area.
The system, managed by Steve Harper, currently serves 8,570 rural meters, 107 towns and bulk users and 5 ethanol plants through 6,800 miles of pipe spanning 14 counties in South Dakota and three counties in North Dakota overseen by 40 staff and nine directors.
Achievements for 2014 are many, they include: adding 85 new services, completely refurbishing and repainting of one of their standpipes and a new 500,000-gallon water tower, plus continued maintenance of almost 200 valves, replacement of 100 feet of 24-inch ductile iron pipe, and repaired a separation wall in the settling pond at their treatment plant.
They have continued their long range planning by establishing a 10-year plan for maintenance of the system that includes tank painting, sealing and skinning, pump replacement, SCADA System upgrades as well as valve and meter pit maintenance.
They are in the process of completing upgrades to their Geographical Information System (GIS) and work ticket software that will allow their operations specialists to have more information in the field and gather more information through the use of tablet computers.
WEB Water annually awards up to six $500 scholarships to graduating high school seniors whose parents are members. They also support local fire departments and other nonprofits in their service area by providing gift certificates for their fund raising events.
To finish off their busy year, WEB Water also completed construction of a new 5,000 square-foot office building attached to a 48,000 square foot maintenance building, as well as starting up a 2nd company “WEB Water Bottling Company” to deliver high-quality WEB Water via 5-gallon bottles around the Aberdeen and surrounding areas.