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 was still producing until 2010. 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.
In 1980 an underground gallery was installed along Rapid Creek to treat ground water under the influence with a pressure filter plant. This treatment plant was taken off-line in 2007 when a newer microfiltration facility was constructed. For many years the District purchased water from the City of Rapid City. The District has become self-sufficient with water production with the microfiltration water treatment plant. In 2018 the treatment plant was upgraded to a ceramic ultra-filtration system, which has increased capacity by 66% and will provide for future growth.
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 nine people: the General Manager, three 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 40 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 provides water and sewer services to over a 1000 homes that are within city limits. The District and the City work closely together to provide high quality service to their customers and residents. The District currently bills approximately 4,300 accounts each month with an estimated population of over 10,000.
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. The District purchased land in 2020 and 2021 for future treatment facilities, and in 2022 the District is retrofitting their 3 rd microfiltration skid to a Nanostone ceramic ultra-filtration skid. This will increase total plant capacity to 4.8mgd. In 2023 the District is scheduled to construct a 2-million-gallon storage reservoir and drill a well for additional source water for the future of the District and the surrounding areas.