Past Winners

Policy Bulletin 117 - Scholarship Program

Successful Scholarship Applicants & Their Essays

2020 Scholarship Winners

How Mid-Dakota Rural Water Benefits my Family by Bailey Binger

Mid-Dakota Rural Water has been such an asset to our family in two very beneficial ways.  We are very thankful to have rural water for our household and for our livestock.  It has been so nice to have high quality water for my family.  Before we hooked up to Mid-Dakota Rural Water, my family had a surface well that supplied our water.  My family was concerned about the contaminates that were in the well water.  They also had trouble with so much iron in the water, it would leave rust colored stains on the sinks and bathtubs.  Who knows how unhealthy that water really was.  Now that we have Mid-Dakota Rural Water, my family has good, clean, contaminant free water.  We now have safe water to drink, reliable water for cooking, clean water for good hygiene and high-quality water for overall good health!

Our livestock have also been lucky to benefit from Mid-Dakota Rural Water.  They now have a tank full of clear, fresh water that is available to them whenever they need it!  It is so much healthier for them.  We have seen the difference in the cattle that have rural water versus just a stock dam to drink from.  The cattle that only have a stock dam, have to drink water that may be stale, muddy, murky or contaminated with chemical runoffs.  The cattle that have Mid-Dakota Rural Water, seem to drink more.  When they drink more, they eat more!  The cattle gain more weight and are healthier than the cattle that have to drink from a stock dam only.  The worst-case scenario with a stock dam, is that it could run dry and the cattle would have no water to drink at all.

Mid-Dakota Rural Water has benefited me and my family in a substantial way.  It has provided good, clean water to our household and for our livestock.  Having high quality water is essential when it comes to keeping us healthy and our animals healthy.  Thank you Mid-Dakota Rural Water, for providing such good water!


What Rural Water and Mid-Dakota Have Meant to Me by Sydney Jessen

Several years ago, the news was full of water quality issues in Flint, Michigan.  Not having quality drinking water that you can trust is safe for you and your family to drink must be a very difficult situation.  However, many people in the world are in exactly that situation and have to boil water for it to be safe to drink or worry about what they are consuming when they drink a glass of water or cook with it.

My mom talks about her childhood north of Ree Heights when they had well water at her home.  She knew it had a funny taste and color but didn't really know how bad the water was until she went to college and had different water for a while.  When she would come back home, she often got sick about a day after she returned and she always thought it was because of the water quality.

When rural water started in the area, many small towns and rural families were starting to have trouble with their water supply.  My parents say many rural people were used to having wells.  As a result, some rural families were skeptical of the rural water concept at first and thought having to pay for water was somehow un-American.  However, my mom and dad's family both saw the option of rural water to be a good one and signed their family homes and farms up when Mid-Dakota was burying its water lines.  Then when my parents decided to build our home north of Ree Heights, we were able to get an addition to the line added so we could have Mid-Dakota at our home too.  They both say that it was so nice to not have the expense of digging a well and the water quality was so much better.

Now that I have Mid-Dakota water at my home, I couldn't imagine not having it.  I know the water quality is good and don't have to think about whether the water we are drinking is safe.  My parents would never want to go back to drinking well water and are both so thankful to have Mid-Dakota water in our home and as a business in our community.  I love having Mid-Dakota water and hope that the rural water business continues for many generations to come.


My Grandma loves Mid-Dakota Rural Water by Erin Moncur

My grandma and  grandpa's farm has an older well that did not pump very fast when we were trying to water the livestock, water the garden, or use water in the house.  The water was also a little rusty looking and did not taste all that great either.  There was also the issue of maintenance of the well.  There were times when the well pump would quit or the well would plug up and the repair company may not get to the farm for several days.  Not having any water for that period meant hauling water for the livestock and for household use, so when the rural water was coming to the area, my grandma and grandpa were excited to have the opportunity to have rural water at their farm.  My grandparents signed up at the first opportunity that Mid-Dakota offered.  The rural water system provides quality water in sufficient quantity with dependable service.  Mid-Dakota has been a great benefit for my grandma now that my grandpa has passed away.  She no longer has to worry about the well working every day or finding someone to do maintenance on the well.

My grandma's farm benefits in many ways by being connected to a reliable and secure rural water system, such as improved water quality that is not exposed to contaminants through surface runoff, this water is healthier for livestock and human consumption.  Better quality of water is really nice for washing clothes as the water is softer and you no longer have to worry about the rust from the well water.  Also the usable life of home appliances, such as hot water services and washing machines, is generally extended due to reduced impurities in the water.  Having rural water on their property may also help bring greater value to their property.  Two summers ago my grandma added a water line to her pastures, which again has been a huge benefit to her farm.  The pasture tanks will water all her pasture land which makes her no longer dependent on the pasture dugouts for water.

Mid-Dakota has been a great help in my grandma's everyday life.  It provides the benefit of clean water and dependability.  Mid-Dakota Rural Water has been an amazing asset to her farm.


Mid Dakota Rural Water by Maria Noyes

Rural water has been one of the best things about moving into the country.  My family moved out in the country about 4 years ago after living in town for several years.  I love the taste of rural water and have a hard time drinking "town" water now.  

Before moving out to the country, my family planted a tree belt on our land.  At that time, we did not have a hydrant out on our land, and we had to haul water in a 200-gallon tank in order to keep the trees watered.  It took about 6 or 7 trips into town to fill the tank with water to water the trees.  The first summer the trees were planted was hot and dry, so we were watering the trees at least once a week.  This took almost a full day to haul the water each time we watered the trees.  The next summer we had the water lines and a couple of hydrants put in by Mid-Dakota Water.  My family put in irrigation drip lines to the trees and this made a huge difference in the amount of time for watering.  All we had to do now was to walk out to the hydrant and lift the handle.  I am very thankful for having the fresh, clean water available to use for irrigation and just for daily use in our house.  I know this is a very small picture of how rural water is important to our community, but it has made a huge difference for our family.





2019 Scholarship Winners

    Get Out of the Pool, Rusty! by Jamie Holforty

I have to admit that I really took for granted the benefits of having rural water.  That is, until the day I met "Rusty".

For the first four years of my life, I lived within the city limits of Huron, where clean water flowed freely.  We then moved just outside of the city limits.  I remember my dad being happy about "getting on the list for rural water".  I had no idea what that meant, all I know is that by the time we moved in, the water was hooked up and we were once again receiving clean, free-flowing water.  Since I had never experienced artesian well water, to me, this clear tap water didn't really mean that much.  It was clean and good, but it was like all of the other water I had ever drank.

After a few years of living out in the country, my family decided to get a pop-up Intex pool.  Thinking she could save a little money, my mother decided to fill the pool with well water instead of the sparkly, clear, free-flowing water that Mid-Dakota provided.  The water looked pretty clear until she checked her pool filter.  That was when I met "Rusty".  That filter and what was on it was disgusting!  She sprayed the filter and added more chemicals to the pool, and again, Rusty appeared.  After several attempts, we finally drained the pool and said goodbye to Rusty.  His image was hard to escape though.  I started imagining drinking that water, washing clothes and dishes in that water and bathing in that water!..That is when I asked my dad what it was like having well water growing up.  He said that it would corrode and stain your appliances as well as your tubs, sinks, and clothes.  You also needed a pressure pump to get the water to your house and if your electricity went out, you would have no water flow.  He did admit that he kind of missed the taste of the artesian water.  That is when I truly realized the advantages of having Mid-Dakota water!  WATER IS NOT SUPPOSED TO TASTE!

Thanks to Rusty and stories from my dad, I can now say I am truly grateful to Mid-Dakota for providing clean, healthy water to my family as well as other rural families!



Allison King on left and Allison with Manager Scott Gross receiving her certificate.

What Mid-Dakota Has Done for My Community
by Allison King

People can easily forget how lucky they are to have the things that they do.  Something as simple as access to clean water is something that people should not take for granted.  I personally cannot recall a time in my life without Mid-Dakota water.  All throughout my life, Mid-Dakota has supplied my family and me with a fresh water supply.  I decided the best way to understand how lucky I am to have Mid-Dakota is to interview people who remember tougher times; times without a great water source.

When debating whom to interview, one special person came to my mind, my grandma.  My grandma was full of interesting stories.  One of these stories was how she had to get water to her house.  When my grandma was younger, she did not have water that just comes out of the faucet; this is something that I am lucky to have.  In order to get water into her house, my grandma had to go outside. no matter the weather, and catch water in buckets.  She would then have to carry these full buckets of water into the house.

My grandma and her family didn't just have to worry about getting water for themselves.  Living on a farm, my great-grandparents had to figure out how to give water to their cattle, as well.  My great-grandparents had a windmill that ran a pump, that would then fill the water tanks.  Having indoor plumbing and easier access to water has been very beneficial to farmers as well.

Going a generation forward, I decided to ask my mom about her experiences without Mid-Dakota Rural Water Systems.  My mother has lived in Virgil, SD, her entire life.  During the tough time before Mid-Dakota, the water mains in the town would break frequently.  This was because the mains were old, and the cold weather affected them negatively.  It could take up to a couple of days before the water mains could get fixed.  During these times, my mother's family would have to gather water in the bathtub.  The water that they collected had to be used for any different purposes.

After all this time of struggle for the town of Virgil, the town, and the inhabitants of the town, were very fortunate to become signed up with Mid-Dakota Water.  Mid-Dakota replaced all the water mains and the pump house.  Also during this time, my dad became involved in replacing the pump house.  Eventually, once the main water lines could be brought into the Virgil area, the town became directly hooked to Mid-Dakota Rural Water Systems.

In interviewing two generations of my family, I realized how much times have really changed; I realized how lucky I am to have the water source that I do.  I would just like to thank Mid-Dakota for everything that they have done for the town of Virgil and everyone else's lives they have made a difference in.



What Mid-Dakota has done for Me and My Community
                       By Christine Michlitsch

When my family and I moved here to Tulare awhile back, we were just starting to settle into our new house.  However, when we were just starting to move in, we noticed a white crusty build up in our sinks, bathtubs, and dishwasher.  We weren't totally sure at the time what it was but we were told by the previous owner that all that gross buildup was from the well water that used to run to our new home.  We were so pleased when we were informed that the city, since previous owners, had switched to Mid-Dakota.  The members of Tulare can now have confidence knowing that the water they are consuming and using for daily activities is both safe and has refreshingly light taste.

The quality of the water has also changed dramatically since switching to Mid-Dakota.  There has been a long-standing joke in the community about how the community is so pleased they can use glass glasses again.  A member of our community once told me that the well water, that they had before switching to Mid-Dakota, was so hard it could break the glass glasses.

The taste of the water that Mid-Dakota provides is absolutely pleasing to the taste buds.  I remember during all sports seasons in school, the players would make sure to fill all their water bottles from the school or their homes because the water quality and taste of other towns we traveled to couldn't even compare.


What Mid Dakota Rural Water Means to My Family
by Derek Thompson

Mid Dakota water has made my life and my family's life much safer and more convenient.  Before we got Mid Dakota water, we had to use our well water for everything.  Our well water is naturally soft, but it is high in sodium and sulfates, which causes it to smell like rotten eggs.  The smell was very noticeable whenever we would drink it or take a shower.  It also caused the racks in our dishwasher to rust out.  When my parents moved to our house, all my mom's houseplants died from the well water.  Now that we have Mid Dakota, we can water our houseplants and garden without worrying about the water killing the plants.  Before we had Mid Dakota, we rented a reverse osmosis unit to make our drinking water.  This meant my parents had to add fluoride drops to the water when my sister and I were babies.  When we got Mid Dakota water, my parents didn't need to worry about that anymore since Mid Dakota already has the right amount of fluoride added to the water.  If our well water would have become contaminated, we probably wouldn't have realized it until it caused health problems.  Mid Dakota water gets sampled regularly, so we don't need to worry about water quality issues.  There have been several times when we have lost power, which means our well pump's pressure system quickly stops working.  But since we have Mid Dakota, we still have good pressure and can get water until power comes back on.  Our family raises sheep and gamebirds, and we usually water them with well water.  But one time when our well pump failed, we had to give them Mid Dakota water until we could get the pump replaced.  If we didn't have Mid Dakota water, we might have lost some of our livestock.  Because of Mid Dakota, my family has access to clean and safe water, and for this I am very thankful.