SIEC 75 YEAR ANNIVERSARY....The Cooperative Purpose
Imagine if you will, what it must have been like after dark in the farms and small towns of southern Illinois 75 years ago...before there was power...before there was electricity. But that was all about to change, and change it did, when farmers and rural families banded together to shine a light on the need to turn the on the lights in rural America. WATCH VIDEO HERE. (photo courtesy of NRECA)
2013 Youth Tour
Attention Local High School Juniors: Are you interested in receiving a $1,000 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. next summer? Details are coming soon to your school.
During long-term power outages, many rely on portable generators for emergency power. The growing popularity of portable electric generators has resulted in millions being placed in homes and small businesses across the nation. But, it's estimated only a small percentage is hooked up correctly. Safe Electricity and SIEC urge members to understand the proper safety steps that must be taken.
Read more by clicking the safety tab on the menu to the left.
(Photo courtesy of SIEC Dir. Admin & Finance Chris Bennett)
SouthWater, Inc. is a Regional Water System deep in the heart of southern Illinois. Once considered a dream, SouthWater became a reality in the summer of 1998.
The dream was formally conceived at a meeting held in November of 1993. The purpose was to encourage several small communities and water districts with individual water treatment plants to join together to form a regional water system.
Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative was encouraged by area leaders to study the feasibility of a regional system. The Cooperative's ultimate goal was to provide water on a retail basis to all economically feasible unserved rural areas, and to have the ability to provide treated water wholesale to any existing water district or community opting to join. This would enhance the quality of life of area residents and stimulate economic growth in the area.
The original proposal presented to the funding agencies was to large to fund at one time. They suggested that the project be built in stages, over a period of several years.
In February of 1995, an application for the regional project with five wholesale users (East Cape-McClure Water District in northern Alexander County, Central Alexander County Water District serving the area around Olive Branch, the Village of Pulaski, the Village of Dongola, and the City of Mounds) was submitted to Rural Development. Also included in the application were 266 potential rural users who live near the distribution lines proposed in the project. That number has now grown to nearly 350 rural users.
SouthWater received over $4 million in grants and $3.7 million in loans from the USDA Rural Development. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs also committed $2 million dollars to Phase I of the project.
The vision of 1993 was slowly becoming a reality. SouthWater constructed an efficient, state-of-the-art water treatment plant near Tamms, Illinois. This treatment facility uses raw water pumped from a natural aquifer. The underground aquifer is in an area where many, many years ago the Ohio River joined the Mississippi. This aquifer provides SouthWater an unlimited supply of water. Two wells that have a capacity to generate 1,600 gallons per minute extract the water from the aquifer. It is then treated by a facility, which could produce over 2 million gallons of potable water per day.
In addition to the water treatment facility; SouthWater installed almost 60 miles of water main. Right-of-ways were secured from property owners and the system became operational on July 1, 1998.
Phase II of the SouthWater project was completed in August, 1999. The Village of Ullin is the only wholesale user in this phase. Phase II added another 40 miles of water main. This phase supplies 130 retail users. The project was funded by a $450,000 grant and $608,000 loan from RD. DCCA also committed $1.15 million in grant money. A portion of the DCCA grant was used by the Village of Ullin for upgrades to its water system.
The major construction of Phase III, including 131 new meter sets, was completed in January, 2002. Phase III added 25 miles of water main to the system and serves the Perks area, the Lufkin Road area NW of Mounds and the rural area between Tamms and Ullin. It also included installation of back-up generators at the water plant and booster pump sites and construction of a one million gallon storage tank at the water treatment plant. SouthWater received over $1.5 million in grants and $627,000 in loans from RD. DCCA also committed $400,000 to Phase III of the project. Extra funding came in the form of a $20,000 grant from The Southernmost Illinois Delta Empowerment Zone (SIDEZ). More information concerning SIDEZ can be found at www.sidez.org.
Phase IV of SouthWater was complete in November, 2003. This phase served residents in and around Balcom in Union County and along and south of the Shawnee College Road in Pulaski County. Approximately 33 miles of water main were installed to serve over 120 new customers. This phase also included an interconnect with the Fort Massac Water District near Shawnee Community College. Funding was in the form of a $1.4 million grant and $200,000 loan from RD. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) granted $700,000 to this project.
In June, 2005 SouthWater's Phase V project was complete. This phase added approximately 10 miles of new water main serving residents along Route 37 and Highway 169 near Karnak in Pulaski County. SouthWater received $166,000 grant and $272,700 loan from RD. DCEO also dedicated $272,980 in grant funding to the project. In Phase V the Village of Karnak became the seventh wholesale user to connect to our system.
Funding for Phase VII of SouthWater was applied for in March of 2005. This project included over five miles of new water main to serve residents along Hwy 127 north of Elco in Alexander County, Reeves Road in Pulaski County, Boyd Road, Ebenezer Church Road and a short extension on Old Cape Road in Union County. This project was denied and our application was revised as SouthWater's Phase VIII in April of 2006 to include an additional 6.5 miles of water main extensions in the America area in Pulaski County. Funding was in the form of a $453,000 loan and $828,300 grant from RD. Roughly 11.5 miles of new water main now serves approximately 60 new users.
Phase IX funding has been secured. This phase will include over 18 miles of water main extensions and will serve over 100 new customers. Additions to the water treatment plant are also included in the application. The water main extensions will be located in Pulaski County, north of Wetaug on Hwy 51, west of Mounds on Olive Branch Road, north of Villa Ridge on Hwy 51 and Boar Creek Road, Shumaker Road, Groner Road, in Union County, along Old Cape and Lingle Creek Roads, and Goodman Pond Road. The estimated project cost will be over $1.9 million. We anticipate construction to begin in 2010.
Funding for SouthWater's Phase X project has been applied for. This $4.8 million project will extend water mains to 274 new, rural customers. The addition of a 250,000 gallon elevated water storage tank in Villa Ridge is also included in the application. The water main extensions will be located in Pulaski County along Lake, Perks and Wetaug roads, and in Union County along Airport, Bauer, Big Creek Church and Christian Chapel roads, and U.S. Highway 51 South Loop.
Anyone interested in receiving service from SouthWater can contact Chris Boyd.