Our mission is to provide safe drinking water and sanitary sewer collection services. We realize that the services provided are essential to the safety and well being of the consumer and to the long term growth and vitality of our area.
The Rapid Valley Water Service Co. was organized on January 19, 1962 by several local citizens who saw the necessity of having a safe drinking water supply as most of the area was using water from shallow wells. A nine member Board of Directors was elected by the original 133 members of the Cooperative. Loans were obtained from Farmers Home Administration for the initial installation of water mains, water towers and wells. By the year 1965, approximately 300 households were members of the cooperative.
These same individuals foresaw the need for a sewer collection system to eliminate the pollution of the area caused by faulty septic systems and the Rapid Valley Sanitary District was established in 1966. It was formed primarily to provide water and sewer service to the small rural community that had developed, then approximately ten (10) miles east of Rapid City. A five member Board was established.
Our Source of Water
The first well was constructed in 1962. However, this well was closed in a very short amount of time as its production was very poor. A second well was dug in 1962 into the Lakota Formation and is still producing in 2005. A third well was dug in 1964 but was closed in 1981 due to high radium content. A Madison Formation well was completed in 1990 but had to be closed approximately one year later because of problems with the casing.
An underground gallery was installed along Rapid Creek to use surface water. In 1980 a water treatment plant was located on Rapid Creek. This treatment plant was taken off-line in 2007 when a newer facility was constructed.
For many years the District purchased water from the City of Rapid City. The District has worked to become more self-sufficient in the production of water. However, the District realizes that it may never be completely separate from the City’s water inter-ties. The District continues to strive for a spirit of cooperation with the City. A contract with the Bureau of Reclamation is an additional water source when necessary.
Improvements to both the water and sewer systems have been financed through loans, grants, bonds, special assessments, as well as by original local contributions.
In 1993 the five-member Board of Trustees for the Sanitary District and the nine members of the Water Board realized that it would be in the best interests of the customers and employees to merge. The merger became effective on July 21, 1994. The new company is a quasi-governmental entity that operates under the name Rapid Valley Sanitary District - Water Service.
The District employs eight people: the General Manager, two office personnel, and five service people. The full time staff members are participants in the South Dakota Retirement System. Two of the employees have each worked for the District over 35 years thus adding to the richness of the District’s historical resources.
For many years the District’s office was a small cement block building. Three major renovation projects took place in that physical site to add adequate office, meeting, and garage space. In 2002 South Dakota Department of Transportation built an overpass directly adjacent to the District’s office thereby rendering the building useless to the District as there was no longer access for equipment. The District purchased land and built a new office building that nearly tripled the existing space.
The Rapid Valley area is a fast growing area on the outskirts of Rapid City. In fact, part of the Rapid Valley service area is within the City limits due to recent expansion by the City. The District and the City work closely together to provide high quality service to their customers and residents. The District currently bills approximately 3,400 accounts each month.
The District continues to look to the future to provide high quality drinking water to their customers. This commitment to the future involves all the employees as they increase their skills and education to stay abreast of the ever changing water industry.