RUSSELL — Ron Nuss, Manager of Rural Water District No. 3, Russell County, was recently named “Rural Water Manager of the Year” by the Kansas Rural Water Association. The award was presented March 28 during the Association’s 51st Annual Conference & Exhibition held at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita. The conference was attended by nearly 2,300 people from more than 300 cities and 200 rural water districts.
Nuss is a life-long Kansan who has worked with the rural water district for the past 17 years. He began as the operator before moving into the manager position. Nuss has been instrumental in having the water district mapping upgraded by GPS. Fifteen years ago he implemented the telemetry system and just recently, was responsible for upgrading that system. In 2007 when the local telephone company installed fiber optic cable, he spent many hours keeping water flowing to customers even though the phone company plowed out many water lines.
“Ron’s commitment to customers during this time was apparent as he was taking chemotherapy treatments and many days should have been home resting rather than working,” commented Elmer Ronnebaum, general manger of the association.
District board members have been alerted by this manager that “business as usual” is not sustainable into the future due to high water loss. As a result, this 45-year-old district is seeking funds for a project to deal with water line leaks due the original solvent welded PVC pipe and provide maintenance and upgrades at the standpipes and booster stations.
The district serves 487 customers along 400 miles of pipeline. The district’s water source is purchased from the city of Otis.
The Kansas Rural Water Association (www.krwa.net) provides training and technical assistance to cities and rural water districts and wastewater utilities and also supports a variety of other community programs including from GPS mapping services.