Rural & Regional Water Systems

What Is a Rural Water System?

Download this brochure for information on what Rural Water Systems are and how they work.

Logan East Rural Water System (Oakland)

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Wau-Col Regional Water System (Wausa)

Construction of the Wau-Col Regional Water System broke ground on June 23, 2011.  Since its completion in 2012, the system provides high quality water to the villages of Belden, Magnet, and McLean.  Water is purchased from Coleridge and sent to Belden, and water is purchased from Wausa and sent to 16 rural customers as well as Magnet and McLean.  The name “Wau-Col” is derived from Wausa-Coleridge.

The system goes across three county lines – Knox, Cedar, and Pierce Counties.  The $3.1 million project was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Rural Development and area sponsors including the Lower Elkhorn and the Lewis & Clark Natural Resources Districts.  The project is owned by the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District, and was formally dedicated on August 11, 2012 in Wausa.

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Proposed Rural Water System (Madison, Stanton, Platte, & Colfax Counties)

The original Phase I area of the proposed rural water system (south of Norfolk) takes in Madison County between the Elkhorn River and the cities of Madison and Battle Creek plus an area of western Stanton County and a Highway 81 corridor between Madison and Humphrey.  Phase II of the proposed system has expanded eastward and includes properties along Highway 91 between Humphrey and Clarkson and north to Highway 32.  Boundaries of the project can be adjusted as more answers come from the feasibility study.

The LENRD has been awarded a Project Planning and Report Grant from the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.  This grant will be used to study the Phase II area.  With this study, the area could be expanded and could possibly make the entire project more feasible.

Open Houses to explain the expanded project were held in Humphrey, Clarkson, and Leigh in the spring of 2015.  If you were not able to attend one of the meetings and would like more information about the project or would like to fill out a survey, please contact Brian Bruckner at the LENRD office –

Rural Water Systems provide a clean, safe, source of water for domestic uses, homes, businesses, and livestock operations.  If you desire to have quality drinking water in your area, please contact the LENRD.  Early signup is encouraged for the study to be successful.

Funds to help build the system could come from low-interest loans or grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

Q.  Is a Rural Water System considered a “grassroots effort”?

A.  Yes, these systems are totally driven by local citizens who want high quality drinking water.  It is NOT a project that any government will force upon people.  Partnerships are critical – agencies such as the NRD and USDA are available to offer advice and support.

The LENRD is currently accepting surveys from those interested in being a part of a study for the proposed Rural Water System in the areas of Madison, Stanton, Platte, and Colfax Counties.  The recent Open Houses in Humphrey, Leigh, and Clarkson provided much of the information on how to sign up to be a part of the study.  If you missed one of those meetings and you would like to be included in the study, it is important that you contact the LENRD.

If you desire to have quality drinking water in your area, now is the time for you and your property to be included in the study.  Early signup is encouraged for the study to be successful.  The sign-up fee of $100 will save you thousands when the project is built.  If you do not sign-up and try to connect to the water system after its built, the cost could range from $5,000 to $15,000.

If you were unable to attend one of the Open Houses or if you have questions, please contact the LENRD office in Norfolk at 402.371.7313.