Rural water districts provide option for country homes

When it comes to buying or selling a house in rural Marion County, officials offered a few tips on what to look for when it comes to water wells versus water lines, septic tanks or lagoons and electricity services.

Delores Dalke with The Real Estate Center and Kerry Shewey with Rural Water District 4 agreed that wells should be tested regularly and be free of nitrates and coliform bacteria.

?It?s a good idea to check on the water supply and an electric source,? Shewey said.

Dalke said whenever someone is selling a home in the country, the water well should be tested.

?Wells should be free of nitrates or coliform bacteria,? she said. ?Before ever getting a home loan or even if someone is not getting a loan, they should check the well and septic tank.

?It should be checked as part of the contract.?

Do your homework

Dalke has been a Realtor for many years and said she knows most of the pitfalls.

?Someone might have a perfectly good well one day and then something happens,? she said.

For those who currently have a safe water supply, annual testing can be valuable in establishing a record of water quality.

In the event someone decides to sell the house, this could be helpful on many levels, Dalke said, to include potential buyers, mortgage lenders and the value.

In addition, this record can be helpful in solving any future problems and in obtaining compensation if someone damages your water supply.

The concensus from most experts is that a complete water supply system should be checked annually and inspected by a certified or licensed water supply professional, such as a ground-water contractor.

It?s important for homeowners to know what to do next in case their well becomes contaminated, Dalke said.

She said some homeowners should look at rural water as an alternative to wells.

Shewey said Rural Water District 4 surrounds around the city of Hillsboro and extends into McPherson County.

The northern part of Marion County is in Rural Water District 1, she said.

Quality water

Rural water districts started pumping water in the 1980s, Shewey said. The major reason for doing so was to bring quality water to homes in the country.

A lot of rural residents were experiencing hard water or poor quality water, she said.

Each of the districts is a ?quasi-municipality,? Shewey said, and non-profit.

The Hillsboro office averages between five to seven houses a year hooking up to their system.

Once the water lines are in place, the pipeline that carries the water to customers is located south of Moundridge.

When deciding which way to go?installing water lines or going with a well?Shewey suggests a homeowner call RWD office and someone will come out and go over the process and options.

?Hookup, pipes and construction costs are variables,? Shewey said, which would make it hard to come up with even an estimated dollar amount.

Recently the water district office polled some rural residents on Pawnee Road to see how many might be interested in going with rural water lines.

If there?s enough interest, she said, water lines could be installed in that area for a residential hookup.

Shewey said prospective rural home buyers or those wanting to build in the country, should do their homework. It?s important to know where water, electric, sewer and other services will be coming from.


The rural water districts are members of the Kansas Rural Water Association. All water testing is done by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Shewey said that as a KRWA member, the districts receive educational and technical assistance to enhance the public health and to sustain Kansas? communities.

KRWA officials said the group is dedicated to helping public water systems provide the quality and quantity of water needed by customers.

For more than 41 years, officials said, the association has offered its service in carrying out that mission.

Shewey said the association also offers cities, rural water districts and investor-owned utilities benefits to include: technical and management know-how; training and seminars; referrals to agencies, organizations and industry professionals; timely advice on public policy issues; information and publications for boards, councils, managers, operators, administrator and field staff, along with helping cities and rural water districts.

Quality water is vital

Dalke said if someone wants to get a good home loan with fixed interest rates and other benefits, it?s important to know all the facts first.

For more information about water quality or how Rural Water District No. 4 can help, stop by the office at 109 S. Main, No. C, Hillsboro or call 620-947-2434.

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