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Get to know Rathbun Regional Water Association

Monday, May 09, 2016

We tend to think of water quality as a current issue and it is, however, water quality issues were first addressed in federal law in 1948 with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Major amendments were made to this act in 1972 and the law became known as the Clean Water Act. (http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/history-clean-water-act)

In the midst of these water quality laws, a group of Appanoose County farmers were also concerned about water quality in rural Iowa. They met in 1968 at the county courthouse to establish a rural water system in order to combat well contamination and provide drinking water to meet a growing demand.

People from 4 Iowa counties, Appanoose, Lucas, Monroe and Wayne, decided to collaborate on building one water treatment plant. This led to the formation of the Rathbun Regional Water Association (RRWA) in the early 1970s. With $25 million in funding from the Farmers Home Administration and the Economic Development Administration, the Rathbun Regional Water Association completed its water treatment facility and headquarters in 1977 on the south bank of the Chariton River, not far from Rathbun Lake. In fact, it draws its water from the lake. The RRWA provides water to around 16,000 rural families, farms, and communities, with a service area that “includes all or parts of Appanoose, Clarke, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Lee, Louisa, Marion, Monroe, VanBuren, Mahaska, Wapello, Warren, Washington and Wayne counties in Iowa and also rural water districts in Putnam, Mercer and Schuyler counties in Missouri.”  (http://www.rrwa.net/page10.html)

The Rathbun Regional Water Association is a member of the Appanoose Economic Development Corporation at the level of Industry Leader.
For more information on the association, see http://www.rrwa.net/.


 

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