After years of planning, several northwest Iowa communities are taking a big step forward in getting a new source of water.

The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System board of directors is awarding an $8 million contract for water line construction in the region. Board executive director Troy Larson admits progress has been slow.  “This is a very important segment of pipe that will eventually serve Sioux Center, Hull and Sheldon,” Larson says. “They’ve been members of this project since 1990 and it really brings it home to them that this is real and the light is at the end of the tunnel. If all goes according to plan, we hope to have them water by the end of 2021.”

Larson says it’s a key part of the plan to build the pipeline in segments and several pieces are still on the drawing board. “We carve out segments of pipeline and this particular segment is ten miles,” he says. “It’s bits and pieces. We’d like to build the whole house at once but it’s one room at a time.” Larson says those Iowa communities will get a significant amount of water from the new system, supplementing current supplies.

“Sheldon has reserved 1.3-million, Hull has reserved 400,000 and Sioux Center has reserved 600,000 gallons a day,” he says. Larson says they still need to build meter buildings, a water tower and add additional pumps before the pipeline is complete. The system is connecting towns and cities in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota from wells south of Vermillion near the Missouri River.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)