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The region has a long history of needing an adequate and dependable source of water. Many of the small towns and cities in the three county areas have their own potable water system. In the 1960’s and 1970’s several small rural water systems were started, including Ripley and Jennings Counties, to bring water to the rural areas. In the 1960’s the Decatur County Rural Water Association, Inc. was formed. This Association attempted (both in the 1960’s and1970’s) to develop a water system for Decatur County. The water need was proven at the time; however, a water source was not available and the ventures were abandoned.
In the late 1960’s/early 1990’s the City of Greensburg constructed a reservoir in conjunction with their surface and well supply, thereby making available a water supply for areas of Decatur County. In 1991, interested residents of the rural area reactivated the Decatur County Rural Water Association, Inc. for the purpose of developing a potable water system throughout the County. Completion of an overall Master Plan was done in 1992.
In late 1995, bids were received by the Decatur County Rural Water Corporation for construction of their Phase I and II facilities. Phase I included a connection to the City of Greensburg (on the south side of the City), a 300 gpm booster station, a 250,000 gallon elevated water storage tank and approximately 65 miles of transmission/distribution mains. The facilities were completed, and in 1997, the Corporation began selling water to approximately 470 customers.
The Board of Directors of Decatur County Rural Water Corporation established a policy that subsequent construction phases to expand water service through out Decatur County would be pursued as need, funding and overall system requirements permit. In the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, upon numerous requests for water service were received throughout Decatur County and the northwest corner of Ripley County, the Corporation embarked on their next major expansion project (Phase III) with construction starting in late 2003. Phase III consisted of approximately 60 miles of transmission/distribution mains. The facilities were completed and in 2005, the Corporation began selling water to an additional 330 customers.
Immediately upon completion of Phase III, the Corporation began receiving requests for water service throughout Decatur County and the northeast corner of Jennings County. Planning for their Phase IV expansion project was initiated in late 2005/early 2006. Phase IV will consist of approximately 20 miles of transmission/distribution mains and bring water to over 100 additional customers. Financing for this project is currently being secured and construction will likely start in 2008.
At this time, with over 130 miles of transmission/distribution mains, Decatur County Rural Water Corporation now serves approximately 1,100 customers in the 3 surrounding counties.