Russ Phillips, manager of the Tripp County Water User District named Rural Water System Manager of the Year

The South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems (SDARWS) recently named Tripp County Water User District manager Russ Phillips as the top rural water manager during the organization’s Annual Technical Conference in Pierre.

Phillips has been employed by Tripp County Water User District for the last 22 years. He started with the district in 1995 as a water operator and through those years acquired his certification as a Class 2 water treatment and distribution operations specialist. Since Russ accepted the role as manager, he has grown in this position and has grown the system with his leadership abilities. The system just recently completed an $11,750,000 project, which added two new system water towers, and approximately 183 miles of new pipeline, rebuilding of four and the replacement of five booster pump stations, added 88 new users and also completed 91 meter pit installations. He is currently supervising the addition of a new tower read system and the process of getting it to work in the needed areas of the District.

Tripp County Water User District employs seven individuals who oversee over 2,600 hookups. The district serves water to the counties of Tripp, Gregory, Portions of Lyman, Mellette, and Todd, individually serves the towns of Witten, Wood, Herrick, Fairfax, and St. Charles, and bulk serves the towns of Colome, Dallas, Burke, Bonesteel, six Native American communities, and serves as backup for the town of Gregory.

The South Dakota Rural Water Annual Technical Conference in Pierre annually hosts over 500 individuals and provides water and wastewater educational presentations for board members, managers, and operations specialists from throughout South Dakota.



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