December 2016 Private Water System Purchase


On Dec. 19, 2016, the Dubuque City Council approved a purchase agreement with the Central Iowa Water System (CIWA) to purchase a neighboring private water system.  The purchase agreement settled litigation between the City and CIWA and transferred ownership of the private water system to the City of Dubuque. Under the agreement, CIWA relinquished its federally protected service area for two miles outside of the City’s current corporate limits. Additionally, CIWA agreed not to serve any water or sewer customers in the future within two miles of the City’s corporate limits at the time service is requested, as the corporate city limits expand.


The acquisition of the water system, including the water tower near Swiss Valley Road, enables the City of Dubuque to meet the future needs of residential, commercial, and industrial water customers in these and surrounding areas. Dubuque’s municipal water system has readily available capacity and pressure needed for fire suppression to commercial and industrial facilities, as well as serve the needs of industrial manufacturing processes with water pressure requirements.

The water system serves approximately 165 properties previously served by the Vernon system (the Wildwood Estates and Cedar Crest subdivisions), approximately 155 properties in the Barrington Lakes area, a commercial property along Highway 20, and will eventually serve four agricultural properties (6.6 acres) along English Mill Road, and 41.6 acres of undeveloped property in the same area.

As of Dec. 20, 2016, the City owns, operates, and maintains the water system. The City is also responsible for the maintenance, repair, and operation of the water system in compliance with all applicable county, state, and federal requirements. This was a water system purchase only and affects no other services in these areas. The agreement has unique terms for each customer area.

   CIWA Claimed Territory Map