Sioux Center has begun receiving water from the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System (L&C), adding quality and quantity to the community’s water supply. Sioux Center’s connection to L&C is the result of more than 30 years of planning and helps provide for Sioux Center Municipal Utilities customers’ water needs today and for future growth.
“This is possible thanks to the long-term vision local leaders committed to 33 years ago, and that vision is now being fulfilled here just in time,” said Sioux Center Utilities Manager Murray Hulstein, who also is serving as chair of the L&C Board of Directors. “Water is essential for daily life and economic growth, and that long-term vision positioned us well.”
L&C water is drawn from an aquifer adjacent to the Missouri River and treated near Vermillion, S.D., traveling a total of 83 miles from the source to Sioux Center. Sioux Center Municipal Utilities blends this water with supply from local aquifers and delivers it to customers. L&C water is significantly softer than water from local wells and it continues to win taste-test awards.
“This water will be a great asset in meeting our customers’ needs – it provides added quantity and quality they’ve been asking for,” said Sioux Center Water Department Head Harlan Kruid. “We’ve been preparing our water plant for this for the past few years. Now, after going through dry years with low aquifer levels and seeing some of our wells encounter issues, the timing is good to receive it.”
Sioux Center currently receives 600,000 gallons of L&C water each day. With a planned expansion of L&C, around 2031 Sioux Center will receive an additional water for a total of 949,000 gallons per day.
Sioux Center and Hull, which also began receiving water, are the 16th and 17th of Lewis & Clark’s 20 member communities and water systems to receive water. The final three members, Sheldon, Madison, S.D., and Sibley, are set to be connected in the next few years.
“Everyone at Lewis & Clark extends our heartfelt congratulations to Sioux Center on this momentous and exciting milestone,” said Executive Director Troy Larson. “The additional water source will have a profound impact on the community for generations to come.”
“City leaders who took the leap of faith to join Lewis & Clark over 30 years ago are to be applauded for their vision and planning. It took far longer than anyone expected, but it was well worth the wait. A special thank you to retired Utilities Manager Harold Schiebout and current Utilities Manager/Lewis & Clark Chairman Murray Hulstein for their long-time support, advocacy and leadership,” Larson said.
Sioux Center Municipal Utilities provides high-quality water to more than 2,600 homes and businesses, drawn from local aquifers and the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System and treated to exceed all federal and state standards.
The Lewis & Clark Regional Water system began in 1990 with a vision to bring high-quality water from aquifers near the Missouri River to 20 member communities and water systems in South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota with the purpose of improved quality of life and expanded economic development opportunities for its members. The project has received significant support from federal, state, and local officials and is now providing water to 17 of the 20 members.
Photo: Sioux Center Municipal Utilities staff celebrate the arrival of Lewis & Clark Regional Water System water. From left: Assistant Utilities Manager Adam Fedders, Zach Boneschans, Kevin Vander Ploeg, Utilities Manager Murray Hulstein, Water Department Head Harlan Kruid, Louis Vander Velde.