In 1968 a group of farmers met at the Appanoose County Courthouse to examine creating a rural water system.  The farmers were tired of contaminated private wells and water shortages.  As development and the demand for drinking water grew, the issue of establishing a rural water system came to the forefront. 


A four-county group (Appanoose, Lucas, Monroe and Wayne) was formed to discuss establishing a rural water system utilizing Rathbun Lake as a water source.  By the end of 1972, the four counties decided to participate in the construction of one treatment plant. 

They eventually organized a non-profit, private entity known as Rathbun Regional Water Assoc., Inc. (RRWA) which is owned and controlled by its member consumers.  What began as a three-million dollar idea, quickly grew to a twenty-five million dollar project funded by the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) and the Economic Development Administration.  Construction on the treatment plant actually began in the spring of 1975.   Prior to placing the treatment facility in service, RRWA purchased water for delivery through its distribution system from the Cities of Chariton, Corydon, Albia, Centerville and Humeston.   Two years after beginning construction, RRWA flowed water into the distribution system in 1977 which minimized our dependence on the municipal water systems.

When the treatment plant was completed in 1977, the processing capacity was 4 million gallons per day.  To meet the current and future needs of members and future customers, RRWA expanded the treatment plant to its current capacity of 8.8 million gallons per day.  The ground breaking for the expansion was held April 15, 1998, followed by a dedication ceremony on September 23, 2000.


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