The Southeast and West Water Daviess County Water Districts, located at 3400 Bittel Road, have provided quality water service to residents, farms and commercial properties for over 47 years.
Prior to 1967, Daviess County residents used water from wells or other sources. The unreliability of drinkable well water prompted residents in both the southeast and west areas of Daviess County to file petitions for the creation of county water districts.
The Southeast Daviess County Water District was created first, with a petition filed in Daviess County Court on June 11, 1964. John D. Reid, O. D. Hazelrigg, Jr., and Aubrey Pendley were appointed as the first Board of Commissioners. With the appointment, these three were given the task of establishing a system of water distribution that would supply the southeast portion of the county. Jan Kuegel was hired as the General Manager in July 1965.
Turner Engineering Company was contracted to design the water distribution system. Corbell Construction Company was awarded the bid for construction of the water distribution system. Universal Tank & Iron Works, Inc. was awarded the bid for construction of one – 150,000 gallon and two – 300,000 gallon elevated storage tanks. The tanks were built at Habit, Jones Road and Settles Road. Pumping stations were constructed on Wing Avenue and in Philpot.
The $1.6 million system was funded through the sale of revenue bonds. Approximately 1050 customers were needed to repay the bond debt in order to fund the project. To encourage more customers to sign up for service, the District ran a special promotion offering a discounted cost of $125 for the tap fee in exchange for the resident trading in the pump and tank from their well.
Major construction was completed in late 1966, and official water service for the Southeast Daviess County Water District began on January 20,1967.
The West Daviess County Water District was created in same manner, with a petition being filed on December 7,1965. The first Board of Commissioners for the West District was Allen Haley, J.H. Mackey, Sr. and Walter Newton. Jan Kuegel was employed to be the General Manager of this new water district. John E. Thompson, appointed Secretary of the Board of Commissioners in 1968, also played a significant role during the construction period and early years of the West District.
Turner Engineering Company was contracted for the design of the water distribution system. C.F.W. Construction Co. was awarded the bid for construction of the system, and Universal Tank & Iron Co. was awarded bid for the construction of the water storage tanks. The tanks were built at Bon Harbor, West Louisville, and Panther. A pumping station was built on Parrish Avenue.
The West Daviess County Water District also funded their system through the sale of revenue bonds. The total cost of the new system was $1.2 million and required 1050 customers to repay the bond debt. Construction began in March 1968 and was completed in May 1969.
While the Southeast and West Daviess County Water Districts remain separate districts, they share office space, equipment and employees. The Southeast District completed repayment of the bond debt in August 2000, and the West District bond debt repayment was complete in March 2004. Each district is financially self-supported by its own sales of water. Both districts have had continued growth. The Southeast District currently serves over 6800 customers and has water available to their entire service area. The Southeast District has constructed two more pump stations-one on Daniels Lane and one on Highway 60 East and replaced the original Philpot pump station. Two new storage tanks were constructed on Pleasant Grove Road and one new storage tank in Masonville. The West District currently serves over 4800 customers and has continued with waterline extensions to serve additional customers. It is proposed that by the end of 2015 all of the West District area will have water service available. The West District has new pump stations on Carter Road and on Highway 431 and a new tank on Orick Road in Utica. The Panther tank and West Louisville tank have each been upgraded. Water for each district is purchased from Owensboro Municipal Utilities. The two districts combined provide over a billion gallons of water per year to their customers. Water is also sold to the City of Whitesville, Beech Grove Water and the North McLean County Water District.
J.R. Miller and Jan Kuegel first had the idea to start Daviess County water districts. Jan Kuegel served as General Manager of both districts beginning in 1965 until his death in 2004. William Higdon has served as General Manager from 2004 to present. Jan Kuegel as Manager and longtime board members Joe Riney, Mike Thompson and Joe Elliott, as well as many unnamed board members, have had significant roles in the growth and prosperity of each district. The Southeast and West Daviess County Water District staff will continue to fulfill the Mission Statement, and that is:
To provide safe and reliable water service to the customers of Southeast and West Daviess County in order to promote and protect the health of the community at the most efficient and economic cost possible.