A milestone was reached in northwest Iowa this week in the construction of the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System.

Troy Larson, the project’s executive director, says the final section of pipe between Beresford and Sioux Center was secured in place.

“That’s over a 33-mile stretch of pipeline. We now finally have South Dakota and Iowa connected,” Larson says. “We celebrated. We signed our names to the protective coating around the pipe. We took some pictures really to celebrate the connection between South Dakota and Iowa. That is a long stretch of pipe.”

Larson says there’s still a lot of work to do before water is flowing through that pipe. “Before Sioux Center and Hull can get water, we still need to complete a water tower by Beresford and also complete the meter buildings at Sioux Center and Hull, as well as adding pumps to the Beresford pump station,” Larson says. “All of that is expected to happen by early 2023.”

Larson says they still have a few more member cities to bring online. “We’re obviously focused on what we need to do to get Sheldon, Sibley and Madison connected as well,” Larson says, “but it’s a golden spike-type moment when we can connect South Dakota and Iowa.”

First developed in 1989, the system is a partnership of cities and rural water districts in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. It uses some 340 miles of underground pipe to move treated water to communities from wells near the Missouri River, south of Vermillion.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)