April 01, 2023

Water permit expiration looming, but without urgency

The water allocation permit provided by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for Creston Waterworks and Southern Iowa Rural Water Association to use 3 Mile Lake expires March 24 but there is no urgency by the state for the two entities to renew its permit.

Creston Waterworks and SIRWA are in a stalemate over a mutual aid agreement specifically after SIRWA expects to operate its own water treatment plant in early 2024. It is under construction east of Creston. For years prior, SIRWA purchased treated water for its customers through Creston Waterworks and its plant.

According to a spokesperson from the DNR this week, notice for a permit’s expiration is released about two months before the date. But the state will not require the two to have an agreement in place before March 24. The state encourages those involved to at least have some objectives and intent with a renewed permit preventing the state from taking any action. The state can extend the existing agreement for an indefinite amount of time.

Southern Iowa Rural Water is interested in having raw water, water that has not been prepared for use and consumption, in the agreement under certain emergency situations. Creston Waterworks only wants to work with treated water.

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.