December 09, 2023

Creston Water prepares for SIRWA’s exit

Southern Iowa Rural Water Association ha scheduled Nov. 29 to test its new water treatment plant located east of Creston. It's possible the plant could be in use before the end of the year.

Creston Waterworks General Manager Steve Guthrie told his board Tuesday Southern Iowa Rural Water Association is planning on testing its new water treatment plant Nov. 29.

Guthrie added its possible SIRWA’s plant could be activated before the end of the year.

For the past two years, SIRWA has been constructing its own water treatment facility, east of Creston along U.S. Highway 34, in view of Creston Waterworks’ plant at Twelve Mile Lake. SIRWA has been purchasing water from Creston for its customers and assisting with maintenance costs.

Despite the possiblity for an earlier start date for SIRWA, the agreement between the two ends Jan. 21. Guthrie said there is still no mutual aid agreement between each entity to provide for customers during emergency situations after each plant is running.

Guthrie said Creston Water operations will change once SIRWA is on its own. Since early August, water from Twelve Mile Lake has been used.

“It is starting to feel the effects of the drought,” Guthrie said about water usage and the dry weather patterns. “We are losing about a foot a month.”

Despite the conditions, Guthrie said there is no urgency for water conservation practices for its customers. Guthrie estimated water levels in Twelve Mile will change from decreasing by a foot to 3-4 inches monthly since providing for SIRWA will end.

In other board news...

A public hearing for the water main improvement project is expected to be scheduled during the December board meeting. Certain areas of Creston, including the 100 and 200 block of North Maple, are to be on the list of streets to have new water mains. Some blocks in Uptown Creston have water infrastructure that dates back to the late 1800s.

The board approved $250 for each employee for contributions to the operation including use of personal vehicles when necessary.

Board member Mark Eblen was not in attendance.

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.