Water Source

Milford Municipal Utilities uses West Lake Okoboji as its source to supply the City of Milford with quality and reliable water. Approximately 189,446,000 gallons are pumped from Brown’s Bay annually and sent 2 miles to the water treatment plant for processing.

Consecutive Systems

Milford Municipal Utilities has two consecutive connections with Osceola Rural Water and West Okoboji.


History of Milford Water System

1902 – First Water System was approved by voters.

October 11, 1909 – Vote to issue $12,000 in bonds for the purpose of putting in a system of water works.  On May 10, 1910, the machine came by rail that would be used by contractors to install the mains.  They could lay 350′ per day and the project was completed June 2, 1910.

1910 – A Water Plant and tower were installed on the south east corner of Okoboji Avenue and 6th Street.  The well was a shallow sand point well.

1912 – The shallow well became inadequate and a 300 foot well was drilled.

1914 – A pump house was built on the south shores of West Lake on Brown’s Bay and a 10,500 feet of 6″ cast iron pipe was laid from the pump house to Milford.

1915 – An 8″ intake was installed with a wooden tower structure surrounding it.  Sand Cribs were used to filter the water.

1923 – A new, more efficient pump house was built at a cost of approximately $4,000.  The new plant was expected to be 90% efficient, whereas the old was only 68% efficient.  The pumps only had to lift six feet instead of twenty-one and burned crude or kerosene.

February 14, 1935 – An election took place which placed the management and control of the Milford Water System in the hands of the Board of Trustees.  The Board consisted of three members.

1938 to 1942 – Planning began for a new pump house using a PWA grant.  Construction was completed in 1942 at the location of the current pump house in Brown’s Bay.  From 1942 to 1979 the water was taken out of the lake, chlorinated and pumped into the 45,000-gallon water tower and to the homes with no filtration.

1950’s – A 6″ intake was installed and a few years later it was abandoned.

1957 – A 10″ intake was installed and is one of the intakes currently being used to service Milford.

1979 – The Milford Water Treatment Plant was built along with a 250,000-gallon underground storage reservoir.  Anthracite carbon and sand filtration was used.

1993 – Milford started using the coagulation capabilities in the sedimentation tank.  Coagulation attracts microorganisms found in water which eventually sinks to the bottom of the tank and is cleaned out periodically.  This also reduced our turbidity (an increase in clarity).

July 1996 – The Board of Trustees was increased from three to five members.

1996 – The anthracite carbon filters were replaced with granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration.  Four filters holding 16,000 pounds of GAC each, absorbs organics which reduces disinfection by-products when surface water with high organics is disinfected with chlorine.  A 350,000-gallon baffled underground storage reservoir was built and the 250,000-gallon reservoir was baffled to meet EPA and DNR chlorine contact time regulations.

2005 – The pump house was rebuilt and the main control panel was moved to the 2nd floor for flood reasons.  Two 40 horse supply pumps and motors were replaced with 125 horse motors and pumps which pump 1300 gallons per minute each.  Sixteen filter operational valves were replaced in the water plant.  A Dakota well was added for emergency backup and aquifer storage recover capabilities.  The SCADA system was also installed.

2015 – A 600 foot, 16″ intake was installed.  A copper ionization system was installed in the new intake which prevents Zebra Mussels from attaching to the pipe.  The veliger is then removed in the treatment process at the water plant.  A special zinc alloy screen was installed on both the new and old intakes to prevent zebra mussels from attaching.  An air burst system was installed inside the intake so that weeds that accumulate on the screen can be removed.