Friday, April 19, 2024

Consolidated Rural Water District No. 3 is the combination of Rural Water District No. 6 and Rural Water District No. 7 in Shawnee County, Kansas.


On April 2, 1959, a group of prospective water users met and made an application to the Farmers Home Administration for assistance in developing a rural water system for the community.  At the end of May 1961, the proposed water system was to large an area to be served by one district under Farmers Home Administration financing so it was mutually decided to divide the area into District No. 6, the parent organization, and District No. 7 another group.  The water source was developed in District No. 6 and the water was sold to District No. 7 with the costs divided as nearly equal as possible.  District No. 6 had 124 benefit units and District No. 7 had 71 benefit units.

A loan was procured from Farmers Home Administration to construct and develop a rural water system.  Bids were let for construction of a dam, reservoir, water treatment plant and standpipe on leased property and approximately 23 miles of 1 ½” to 4” supply and distribution lines on May 15, 1962.  Construction of the water system began on April 1, 1963 and all of the work was completed by July 1964.

From 1963 until 1968, the District expanded to the point that the water treatment plant and lake could no longer keep up with demands of the District especially during the summer months. On July 17th, 1968 the District signed a contract with the City of Topeka to provide water supply to meet the District’s needs.

Beginning in March of 1981 discussions were had with Osage County Rural Water District No. 8 about a connection to the District to supply them with water.  In December of 1981, based on the data provided by the City of Topeka, the District needed to add a new pump station for when the City’s new main line was completed.  Improvements to the District were completed in June of 1983 for the connection to Osage County Rural Water District No. 8 and the new pump station.  When the new pump station was complete all of the District’s water was purchased from the City of Topeka and all of the salvageable materials & equipment from the old booster pump station and water treatment plant was sold.  The old water plant at the lake was used for storage until completion of the office/shop building at 4926 SW Wanamaker Road in 2003.

Rural Water District No. 7 continued to buy water from the District until they established their own contract with the City of Topeka in 1994.  To obtain this contract with the City of Topeka they had to build a pump station and tower.  These improvements caused to the District to go deeply in debt and in order to repay the debt with less than 200 customers, their water bills were quite high and the District was struggling.  Rural Water District No. 7 approached the City of Topeka to take over their District but negotiations broke down over provisions the City was requesting.  Rural Water District No. 6 approached Rural Water District No. 7 about consolidating and on April 1, 2004 the Shawnee County Commission unanimously agreed to allow the two Districts to consolidate.

The District has continued to grow and now has over 1,166 benefit units and approximately 70 miles of 1½” through 16” water pipeline.