Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 41

UP THE CREEK

A Unique Elixir

t

BY KEN M. BLOMBERG

This is a story

of a small rural
community nestled in the hills of western
Wisconsin, and how water has influenced
its identity from the beginning. Like many
other early settlements across the state, a
river ran through its boundaries. Established
in 1856, Bishop's Settlement had a general
store, a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop and
a flour mill powered by the Trempealeau
River. Later, residents re-named it Arcadia, a
word reminiscence of a mountainous region
of Greece, where one well-travelled resident
noted Arcadians relished their lives of simple
contentment amid wild surroundings. In
1873, the railroad followed the river and to
this day, still plays an important role in the
community's prosperity.
For decades, Arcadia has provided an
abundant supply of high quality water from
the Mt. Simon Aquifer for its residents,
businesses and industries-large volumes of
water, according to its water utility. In 2017,
it pumped over 430 million gallons of water
for the city's population of around 3,000-
five to six times more water than a city of
the same size. But this story isn't about
quantity. It's about quality. A very special
Quality on Tap is what makes Arcadia unique
in the public water supply world.
There must be something exceptional
about the Mt. Simon Aquifer. After all,

Arcadia's drinking water was recently
presented the Gold Medal Award for the
"Best Tasting Water" in the nation at this
year's National Rural Water Association
Rural Water Rally held in Washington
DC-that on the heels of winning the
2017 "Best Tasting Water" contest at
the Wisconsin Rural Water Association
29th Annual Conference held in La
Crosse. If that wasn't enough to recognize
the unique quality of Arcadia's water
supply, that same year it won the "Best
in Wisconsin" water taste contest held
by the state chapter of the American
Water Works Association. In 2015, it
took second place at the AWWA's "Best
Tasting Water in Wisconsin" contest
at the Wisconsin State Fair. In 2014, it
was awarded the "Best Tasting Water in
Wisconsin" for the third time in four years.
The Arcadia Water Utility is the first utility,
in the 29-year history of the contest, to
win the title three times. In 2012, at the
AWWA National Annual Convention, it
was awarded third place finish in the
"Best of the Best" National Water Taste
Contest. And in 2011 and 2012, WRWA
began this community's water accolades
by giving back-to-back first place finishes
at its annual "Wisconsin's Best Tasting
Water" contests. Eight first-place wins

in the span of eight years? There must be
more than luck involved in this spectacular
track record.
The Mt. Simon Aquifer is far reaching,
extending into Minnesota, northern
Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of
Michigan. At Arcadia, the aquifer is under
confining conditions. Shale formations
act as aquitards-retarding downward
migration of groundwater. Deep wells in
Arcadia have tapped old water-age dated
to be somewhere between 4,200 to 15,000
years old! The municipal wells are drilled to
depths ranging from 386 to 400 feet deep
into the Mt. Simon Aquifer.
There you have it. Like fine wine, or aged
whiskey, Arcadia's public water supply has
been aged and preserved all these years for
our drinking pleasure. Somebody should be
bottling this unique elixir. ●
Ken M. Blomberg is the past executive
director of the Wisconsin Rural Water
Association. Ken has written two books
since his retirement. Autographed copies
of his first book, Up the Creek, are now
available for $15.62, postage paid. A portion
of the sale proceeds will be donated
to NRWA's scholarship program. Send
checks payable to Ken M. Blomberg, 2099
Mayflower Road, Junction City, WI 54443.

FOR DECADES, ARCADIA HAS PROVIDED AN ABUNDANT
SUPPLY OF HIGH QUALITY WATER FROM THE MT. SIMON AQUIFER
FOR ITS RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES AND INDUSTRIES-LARGE
VOLUMES OF WATER, ACCORDING TO ITS WATER UTILITY.

YDUMORTIER/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

RURAL WATER

41



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018

From the President
The 10 Steps of Crisis Communication
Florida Rural Water Association’s Rapid Response to Deadly Hurricane Irma
Texas Rural Water Association Provides Emergency Assistance to Systems Impacted by Hurricane Harvey
UTWARN: Rural Water Association of Utah’s Emergency Response System
NRWA Congratulates Senator Thad Cochran on His Retirement
Regulatory Update
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Can You Hear the Crickets?
Up the Creek: A Unique Elixir
Residential Metering: Choosing the Meter That Best Meets the Changing Needs of Your Rural Water System
Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Intro
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - bellyband1
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - bellyband2
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - cover1
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - cover2
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 3
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 4
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 5
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 6
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 7
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 8
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 9
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 10
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - From the President
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - The 10 Steps of Crisis Communication
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 13
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 14
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 15
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 16
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 17
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Florida Rural Water Association’s Rapid Response to Deadly Hurricane Irma
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 19
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 20
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 21
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 22
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 23
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Texas Rural Water Association Provides Emergency Assistance to Systems Impacted by Hurricane Harvey
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 25
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 26
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 27
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 28
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - UTWARN: Rural Water Association of Utah’s Emergency Response System
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 30
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 31
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 32
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - NRWA Congratulates Senator Thad Cochran on His Retirement
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Regulatory Update
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 35
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 36
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 38
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Can You Hear the Crickets?
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 40
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Up the Creek: A Unique Elixir
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Residential Metering: Choosing the Meter That Best Meets the Changing Needs of Your Rural Water System
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 43
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 45
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - cover3
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - cover4
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