Home : Historical Center > Dorchester Water System History

Even before the sewer project got off to a good start; the WPA was
telling Dorchester’s elected officials that now is the time to start
thinking about putting in a central water system. While indoor
plumbing is nice; it is even better if you have water with which to
wash down any materials that reside in the bowl.
Of course, this was the right action to take and so on July 30, 1938
a special meeting was called to discuss the pros and cons.

August 2, 1938 — Board Considers Possible Village Water System
To Discuss Problem Of Preliminary Survey This Evening

Dorchester’s village board members gathered in a special meeting
Saturday evening to consider the possibilities of obtaining a PWA
grant for the installation of a water system in the village.
Following a lengthy discussion and explanation of the proposed setup
for such a system by Frank J. Davy of La Crosse, consulting engineer,
the board voted to file application with the federal government for
a possible PWA grant. When a tie resulted in the balloting,
President J.E. Allar voted to file the application. Filing of the
application, however, was held over until the regular meeting of the
board tonight, Tuesday when the members will decide whether or
not to pay the necessary engineering fees for a survey of the water
system; the plans for which must accompany the filing of the
application for a grant.

Engineer Davy explained that though an application is made and
federal officials approve the grant, the project would have to be
submitted to a vote of the residents of the village for their approval.
Saturday’s meeting was called pursuant to notice by three members
of the board; following receipt of an informative letter from Mr.
Davy in which he stated that a deadline for projects had been set at
August 31 and unless applications were filed by August 1, federal
funds probably would not be available later.

Under the proposed PWA setup 45 per cent of the funds would be
supplied by the federal government, the remaining 55 per cent to be
paid by a utility bond issue or mortgage on the water plant.

This mortgage would be issued for 20, 25 or 40 years or whatever
period of time was deemed necessary; the mortgage to be paid for
out of earnings of the water system.

PWA differs from WPA ( Works Progress Administration) (in which all
labor is paid for by the federal government) in that all labor is let by
contract. Completion of the building of the water system would
probably be accomplished in six months, Davy stated. Cost of
building the proposed system and water plant would approximate
$40,200. Of this amount PWA would pay $18,000 or 45 per cent of
the total cost of the project and the remaining $22,200 would be
paid with the utility bond issue.

During the discussion it was brought out that the cost to the village
to receive the $18,000 grant would be the $100 charged by the
engineer for services in making the preliminary survey for the water
system; that whether or not the project was approved by the voters
of the village and the grant by the PWA, the village would not be
refunded the $100 charged by the engineer for his services. That
insurance rates on property in the village would be reduced one third
or about $1100 if an approved system was built; that this saving in
insurance would in return be paid by the village to the water plant in
the form of a hydrant rental. This hydrant rental would be paid on
the basis of $50 per hydrant per year. With 20 such hydrants
necessary, a total of $1,000 would be paid to the water system as
hydrant rental. It was also pointed out that with earnings from users
of the water and hydrant rental, the proposed water system would
be paid for in approximately 20 to 25 years.

August 2, 1938 — Defer Action On Possible Village Water System

Further discussion in regard to the appropriation of funds for a survey
of the village for a village system project has been deferred for the
present by the village board, President J. E. Allar has announced.
Board members in regular meeting Tuesday evening tabled the
matter following receipt of announcement from federal works
administration officials that the deadline for filing applications had
been extended from August 31, to September 30.

The board in special meeting July 30 had voted to file application for
a village water system project, plans for which are required to be
submitted with the application. Costs of a preliminary survey and of
a special election, which would be necessary to get approval of
village residents before the federal works administration would grant
funds for a WPA project, are deciding factors in deferring further
discussion by the board for the present, the president stated.

March 14, 1939 — Village Board To Act On Water Resolution

Electors Will Vote On Question at the April 4 Election
Members of the Dorchester village board will meet Friday evening to
consider the adoption or rejection of a resolution to construct a
water works system in the village, according to notice by Clerk S.C.
Sorenson in this issue of the Clarion. The meeting will be held at
8 p.m. in the village hall.

The water works resolution was introduced at a meeting of the board
Tuesday evening after 29 electors had presented a petition February
7 requesting the village fathers to investigate the possibilities of
obtaining a grant from the Works Progress Administration. Favorable
action on the resolution by the board will give electors an
opportunity to vote on the question at the coming April 4th election.
The resolution provides for the construction of a waterworks system,
including the laying of water mains, erection of hydrants,
construction of a pump house and reservoir and a well to supply the
necessary water.

To provide for the cost of the project, water works bonds in the
amount of $30,000 with interest at 5 per cent would be issued by the
village against the system. Labor on the project would be supplied
by the federal government.

The amount of the bonds would be paid for over a period of years,
the length of time to be designated by the village, from income (such
as hydrant rental and the periodic charge for use of water by the
individual residents) derived from the operation of the water system,
officials state. The bonds would be a direct charge against the water
system and would not be payable from any funds raised for other
village purposes, according to section 66.06 of the Wisconsin

March 30, 1939 — Mass Meeting Friday Evening - Pros and Cons of
Water System to be Discussed

A mass meeting for all the voters of Dorchester will be held Friday
evening at 8:30 at the Opera House in order to give everyone a
chance to hear the discussion for and against the water system,
which will be decided in the April 4th election. One of the members
of the state board of health from Madison will be present to give
facts on the matter, as well as Mr. Frank Davy, engineer on the
project. Now that the sewerage system has been installed, each
voter in the community has an interest in the completion of the
modernizing project outlined for Dorchester; and everyone should be
present to take part in this vitally interesting discussion. This
meeting will give each side of the question a chance to be aired, so
that the election results will be for the best of the community.

April 6, 1939 — Walter Referendum Passed By 35 Vote Margin

118 Votes For Waterworks and 83 Against
Voters in the Village of Dorchester went to the polls on Tuesday to
decide whether or not they would endorse the resolution asking that
the village install a waterworks plant. When the final vote was
counted, the ballots read 118 for and 83 against the resolution.
This means that in the very near future the village will be able to
continue with its program for making Dorchester a better place in
which to live.

Although the vote was not quite as close as some observers had
predicted it would be, it was close enough to show that public
opinion was pretty was pretty well divided. Total number of votes
cast on the referendum question was 203 with 2 ballots blank.
In the Judicial election for Justice of the Supreme Court, Marvin B.
Rosenberry won in the Village with 67 votes, Gerhard A. Hagerdorr
was second with 32 votes and Wm Markham was third with 27 votes.
Emery W. Crosby running unopposed for Circuit Court Judge had 118

May 11, 1939 — Village Water Works Bonds Sold Tuesday – Contract
for test well let to Haupt Co., Bonds to Chicago firm.

At a special meeting of the Village Board last Tuesday evening, the
contract for the test well was awarded to the Haupt Well Co. of
Auburndale, Wisconsin and the Village water works bonds were sold
to the T.E. Joiner Co. Inc. Of Chicago.

Bids were received from four bonding houses for the privilege of
handling the Village water works bonds. The companies entering
bids were Channer Securities Co. Chicago, Mairs Shanghnessey and
Co. St. Paul, Harley Haydon and Co. Madison, and T.E. Joiner and Co.
Inc. Chicago.

Mr. H.B. Heign, vice president, of the T.E. Joiner Co. was present at
the meeting. The T.E. Joiner Co. Bid of $29,500 for the bonds with
the interest rate set at 4 per cent was accepted by the board.
Three well drilling companies submitted bids for the drilling of the
test well. The contract was awarded to the Haupt well Co. Of
Auburndale, Wis. With a bid of $176.00. This bid was less than half
of those submitted by the other two companies whose quotations
amounted to about $350 each. With the sale of the bonds and the
test contract out of the way, the Village now has a good start on the
project and a sound basis on which to work.

May 25, 1939 — Second Test Well Started Near High School

The first test well sunk by the Haupt Well Co. has proven
unsatisfactory for use as the source for Dorchester water, so a new
well had to be started. The second well is being drilled on the
Adolph Karrup property about 50 yards from the first attempt. Test
well No. 1 went through clay formation to a depth of 30 feet. Water
was struck at 28 feet but was unsatisfactory. Quite a few boulders
were hit and when they reached 40 feet they struck a granite
formation. Usable water had been struck but the flow was too slow
to be of any value as a village well. When the drillers hit granite,
the state geologist advised them to discontinue and try another site.
The second well was started on the Karrup property and is now down
to a depth of 40 feet with all indications pointing toward a good
well. The drillers are now into good gravel about 3 feet.

Mr. Haupt estimates that the water supply will be good at a depth of
about 50 feet. Water was first struck in the second well at the 26
foot level but the flow was slow. At 33 feet gravel was encountered
and the water came up to within 16 feet of the top of the well
casing. The gravel vein was lost again between 35 and 37 feet and
then reappeared. The drilling has now reached a depth of 40 feet
and is in a good gravel vein. All traces of mud and clay have
vanished and it is certain that this well will easily meet the
requirements of the State. Mr. F. Haupt, Emil Haupt and Wm Jadack
are doing the drilling for The Haupt well Co. of Auburndale, Wis.

June 1, 1939 — Dorchester Will Have Good Water Supply

Test Well shows capacity will run much more than will be needed
The second test well, drilled on the Adolph Karrup property near the
high school has all the indications of being a number one source for
Dorchester water. On the first test they were able to throw 60
gallons of water per minute without lowering the water level below
25 feet. Mr. Haupt, the driller and Mr. Davy, the engineer believe
that the regular well when it is put in will give an ample supply of
water for the village, even when the consumption reaches its
maximum. It is pointed out that the test well is only a six inch shaft,
while the regular well will be 10 inches in diameter.

The test shaft is down into 11 ½ feet of good water producing gravel
and resting right on bed-rock. There are 37 feet of water in the
shaft when the well is idle.

A second test was started on this well yesterday with a larger pump.
The well is now throwing between 85 and 90 gallons per minute and
the water level in the shaft is staying constant at 22 feet. Mr. M.E.
Vircks, who is checking the well for the village says that the pump
was throwing as high as 125 gallons a minute for a while yesterday
afternoon without lowering the supply in the shaft to any degree.
When the contract for the test well was awarded it stipulated that
the flow must be 80 gallons per minute before the well was
acceptable as an accurate test.

June 15, 1939 — Dorchester Is Allotted $44,311 By Government

Telegrams from Senator/Congressman advise Approval of funds
S.C. Sorenson Dorchester, Wisconsin advised today Dorchester
project approved for $44,311 — Signed, Merlin Hull, M.C. Such was
the message received by S.C. Sorenson, Village Clerk, last Tuesday
afternoon from merlin Hull - 9th Dist. Congressman. Although the
final papers have not yet been received from Washington,
Congressman Hull bases his good news on the most reliable authority.
Another telegram received by Dr. F.P. Foley, village president,
Wednesday afternoon from Senator Wiley read as follows: Village
President, Dorchester Wisconsin. The President has approved WPA
project NX 31231 to construct water system through Dorchester in
amount of $44,311 – stop – Suggest you contact state administrator
for final approval which depends on availability of funds and
presence of certified relief labor. Signed, Alexander Wiley, USS.
The village will realize $29,550 on the sale of the Waterworks bonds,
which with the WPA grant of $44,311 gives a total of $73,861 for the
installation of the system. This assures Dorchester of enough money
to install the right kind of system in the right way.

Dorchester is indeed fortunate to have a group of men on the village
board who are willing to put forth the needed energy and time to put
this work across. The average citizen is probably not aware of the
work a project like this requires. It is one thing to want a federal
grant of this kind and another to be able to receive it.
Congratulations to our village board.

Water Test Excellent — While the test well was in operation, the
State required that samples be taken after 12 hours of continuous
pumping and again after 24 hours. These samples were sent to the
State Hygenic Laboratories for purification and iron tests. The
Village was notified Wednesday that the water is safe on all counts
and its degree of hardness is exceptionally low, which is very good.

June 29, 1939 — Service Commission Approves Water project
Project receives final State and National Sanction

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has officially authorized the
village of Dorchester to establish a municipal water utility at a cost
of about $71,700. 

This money is being raised by a bond issue of $29,500 and a WPA
grant for the balance of the cost. The official certificate issued by
the commission reads as follows: It is hereby certified: That the
village of Dorchester is authorized to render water service as a public
utility in the village of Dorchester. Dated at Madison, Wis. this 26th
day of June, 1939. Public Service Commission of Wis. By Fred S.
Hunt and Robert A. Nixon. This action clears the way toward actual
starting of the project. The village board plans to accept bids on the
well drilling and the materials necessary for the installation of the
system as soon as possible.

Aug. 3, 1939 — Bids On Materials For Water project Opened Thursday

The Village Board were kept busy last Thursday afternoon as they
opened bids for materials and contracts for the Dorchester water
system. The engineer for the project, Mr. Frank Davy of La Crosse,
the village attorney , Mr. Vorland, and bidders representing different
concerns were also present. Thirty one bids were opened and read,
but no contracts were let. The bids will be acted on at another
meeting of the board. Mr. Davy estimates that the bids on the
materials run about $3,000; under the estimates made when the
project was set up. Tabulation of the bids is not yet complete but
will be available for publication next week.

August 3, 1939 — Rehearing On Water Works Tomorrow A.M.

The re-hearing before the Wisconsin Public Service Commission on the
Dorchester Water project will be held at the village hall tomorrow
morning at 10:00 o’clock. The new hearing was granted after a
petition bearing names of Dorchester residents and taxpayers opposed
to the project had been presented to the commission. The
commission had already granted the village authority to proceed with
construction of the water system, but has granted this hearing in
order to settle the question so it will be perfectly clear to everyone.
The hearing is being held here in Dorchester in order to give anyone
and everyone the opportunity to express their sentiments for or
against the project.

August 17, 1939 — Waterworks project Receives P.S.C. Okeah
State body upholds first decision — contracts for materials let
A telegram was received here last Friday afternoon stating that the
Public service Commission had upheld their former decision
authorizing the Village to put in their waterworks system. The
circulated petition bearing 72 signatures was sufficient evidence that
the village could support the project.

According to present plans, work will start next Monday with a WPA
crew of about 40 on the job. The actual drilling of the well should
start sometime next week. At an adjourned meeting of the Village
Board last Friday evening details pertaining to the project were taken
up. The lot for the well and standpipe was purchased from Adolph
Karrup for $300.

After purchasing the property two new ordinances were read and
adopted. Ordinance No. 31 governs the issuance of $30,000
waterworks bonds and the payment and other details in respect
thereto. The second Ordinance No. 32 pertains to fire protection to
the village. These two ordinances will be found in their entirety in
the minutes of the Village Board meeting in this issue of the Clarion.
The contract for the well was awarded to the Haupt Well Co.,
Auburndale, Wisconsin. Contract for pipe went to the low bidder, J.
B. Clow & Co., Chicago, Illinois. The hemp and lead contract, valve
contract, and Contract No. 4 were all awarded to the low bidders.
Contract No. 5 for the building and erecting of the water tower was
also awarded to the lowest bidder, Chicago Bridge and Iron Works,
Chicago, Illinois.

August 31, 1939 — Work Started On Dorchester Water System

Work is going forward on the Dorchester water system in a speedy
manner. Shipments of pipe have been received and the WPA crew is
putting it in the ground at a fast pace.

The well drilling is also progressing nicely. The large casing to the
gravel level is already in the ground and the drillers have a
preliminary six-inch shaft sunk to the bed rock. They now have to put
the 10-inch casing down for the regular well. No serious trouble has
been encountered in the drilling and all indications point to an
excellent well for the village water supply.

Authorities are trying to get a line established so that at least a
portion of the village will have water for fire protection before
freezing weather sets in. Present plans are to accomplish this by
making a loop around the block where the well is situated. If work
continues at its present pace and the materials arrive on time it is
certain that the water system will be in operation at an earlier date
that was at first expected.

September 14, 1939 — Laying Of Pipe delayed By Hard Rain Monday

The laying of the pipe for the Dorchester water system was delayed
Monday by a severe rain storm. Although 1300 feet of pipe have
already been put in the ground; the ditches were left open until a test
has been made to determine whether or not there were any leaks.
The section along County Trunk “A” was caved in and also a
considerable length of ditch on Front Street where pipe had not yet
been put down. Mr. Collier, the WPA foreman says that it will take
about two days to repair the damage caused by the storm.

The cement gutters on Front street were undermined and some of the
sections fell into the water filled ditches. The delay in laying the pipe
and filling the ditches has been caused by the failure of the proper
materials to get here in time. If the WPA crew had had the necessary
equipment they could have been much farther with the project than
they are now. As soon as the fire hydrants arrive they will be able to
make a test of the sections as they go along.


Haupt Well Co. – Phone 4304 — Permit 180 — Auburndale, Wisconsin
Anyone want a bath? Of course there may be those who think
there isn’t enough water coming out of the pipe above to fill a tub.
Naturally that would depend on the size of the tub but when this
picture was taken; there were 600 gallons of water coming out of the
ground every minute. The pipe is 6 inches in diameter. This was
during the preliminary test of the Dorchester well.

A regular test of about 7 hours was run last Saturday. 250 gallons of
water were pumped from the well every minute of that test and it
lowered the water level only 7 feet, where it remained constant
during the pumping.

The well is 51 feet deep, with 11 feet of good gravel at the bottom
and resting on solid rock, The outer casing is 48 inches in diameter
and goes down 24 feet; the well finishing with a 30 inch hole. The
inner casing is of 10-inch pipe with a 10 foot screen at the bottom.
It is gravel packed and agitated with the water coming to within 17
feet of the surface when it is not being pumped. The Haupt well
Co., of Auburndale is drilling the well under the personal supervision
of Mr. Frank Haupt, pictured above. Mr. Frank Davy, La Crosse,
village engineer inspected the well Tuesday and says he is very well
pleased with the results so far.

September 21, 1939 — Fred Distelhorst First To Be Hooked Up With
New Water System

It was announced this morning by Milton Collier, WPA foreman, that
Fred Distelhorst is the first Dorchester resident to be hooked onto
the new water system. The pipe has been laid into the house and
now Mr. Distelhorst is waiting for the time when a circuit will be
completed so that he may use the system.

It is an honor to be the first one on the system and that honor rightly
belongs to the men who have helped to build Dorchester through the
years. Mr. Distelhorst has been one of those builders throughout the
years and by lending his support to this and other projects for the
betterment of the community; he shows that he is still a “Dorchester

November 2, 1939 — Water project Makes Good Headway

Standpipe ready to go up — pump and filtration tank are purchased
The Dorchester Water project is moving along in good shape with
work on the standpipe and pump house already started. The footings
for the standpipe were laid by the WPA crew while a special crew
from the Chicago Bridge and Iron Works, who received the contract
for the standpipe, will set the giant tower. The WPA crew have also
finished the foundation for the pump-house and are now ready to go
ahead with the building. Contracts awarded: two more contracts
were awarded at the Meeting of the Village Board last Thursday
evening. The board met in the afternoon to receive the sealed bids
for the pump and the iron removal tank.

Bidders on the pump were: Cochran-Sargent Co.,Crane Co., and
Fairbanks-Morse Co., all of St. Paul; Layne N.W., Milwaukee and
Peerless Pump Co., Massilon, Ohio. Bidders on the iron removal tank
were: International Fitter Co., Chicago; Graver Tank and Mfg. Co.,
East Chicago, Ill., Water Treatment Co., Rockford, Ill and Permutit
Co., New York.

The bid of the Peerless Pump Co., of $1,369.84 for the pump was
accepted at the evening meeting of the board as was the bid of the
Permutit Co., for the iron removal tank of $1,870.

Contracts for the materials on the pumphouse were also awarded to
the Ellis Stone Co., and the O & N Lumber Co., Sauter Bros and the
Wausau Sand and Gravel Co. With work on the project continuing at
the present rate, it seems quite certain that part of the system will
be in operation by January 1st.


Final Coats of Aluminum Paint Will Be Applied In The Spring
With the exception of the final coats of aluminum paint, the
Dorchester village water tower is now complete. The Chicago Bridge
and Iron works crew finished actual work on the structure Tuesday.
The final coats of aluminum paint will be applied in the Spring.
The total height of the structure from the foundation to the fineal or
ball at the top is 155 feet. The cylinder running up to the tower is in
five sections; is five feet in diameter and is 128 1/4 inches high. The
balcony running around the tank is a standard 24 inch balcony with a
42 inch hand rail. A person would hardly believe it but the height of
the tank from the walkway to the top water line is 14 feet and ½ inch
and from the water line to the fineal approximately 7 feet. The
distance from the walkway down to the top of the cylinder is 5 feet 4
½ inches.

The structure also includes a steel ladder and safety cage starting
approximately 12 feet from the ground and running up on post of the
tower to the fineal on top of the tank. The inside of the tank and
cylinder are painted with two coats of red lead and the outside also
has received its primary coat of red lead. The outside of the entire
structure will receive two coats of aluminum paint in the spring. The
name of the village, Dorchester will be painted on the side of the
tank facing County Trunk “A”.

Mr. C.L. Black, Branson, Mo., was foreman of the crew doing the
work. The men working under him were Lad D. Kuffel and Charles D.
Kuffel, St. Cloud. Minn., William C. Bilbrui, Crossville, Ill.,R.D. King,
Mande, Okla., and Arthur (Bud) Simpson, Abeline, Kansas. In
commenting on the crew, Mr. Black says that it is one of the best
crews he has ever had under his supervision in his 15 years as
foreman. The work has been done swiftly and carefully and the
village board are certain that the structure will speak for itself in the
test of time.

January 25, 1940 — M.E. Vircks Is First User Of Village Water

Water was pumped into the standpipe and tank of the Dorchester
water project yesterday and turned into the mains as far as Paulson’s
Garage. Other valves were opened this morning and the water sent
to its first user. The meter was installed in the Max Vircks home
Wednesday and Mr. Vircks was the first to use Village water when he
turned on his faucets today.

The long awaited skating pond was started today near the Paulson
Garage and should be ready for use in a few days. The first flooding
of the pond will be accomplished while the water (68,000 gallons) is
run out of the tank after the chlorine purification.

March 14, 1940 — Save Money By Having Village Water Put In Now

Residents and property owners of the village have been urged by the
board and the Engineer in charge to have curb cocks connecting them
to the village water supply put in at the earliest possible moment. By
having this done now, it is pointed out, the cost is only eight dollars,
whereas if the connection isn’t made until after the project has been
closed, the cost will be in the neighborhood of thirty dollars for the
same work.

Samples of water were taken from those already connected and sent
to Madison last week for final tests. The results came back this week
showing that the water tested 100 per cent, meeting all the
requirements set by ths State Board of Health. All the water now in
use, with the exception of the extreme south end of the village is
entirely safe for consumption. Final reports taken on the south end
are expected this week.

April 25, 1940 — Village Residents Again Advised To Make Connections

Mr. Davy, engineer on the village water project again wishes to
remind property owners that they should take advantage of the low
price for hooking onto the village water system while there is still
time. It is expected that the work will be completed in about six
weeks. Up to that time village residents may hook up to the mains
for only eight dollars; after completion of the project it will cost
about $25 to $30 for the same work.

So why not be wise and order your connection to the village water
now? Or can’t you use a $17 to $22 saving?


Rating Bureau Awards Dorchester a Much Better Fire Protection Rate
The first real dividend to be realized by Dorchester home owners in
many years is now materializing due to the installation of waterworks
in the village. In a letter received by Dr. Foley Tuesday from B.J.
Williams of the Fire Insurance Rating Bureau, he was informed that
the village classification had dropped from 9th to 7th.

The letter read in part: We are pleased to be able to notify you that
with its new water works system Dorchester now qualifies for a
7th classification, which is two steps better than has been in effect
heretofore. A copy of our fire protection report is enclosed for your
files. This means that property owners in the village will save from
25 per cent to 45 per cent on their insurance. The new rate book has
not as yet been issued so definite figures are not yet available for
specific properties.

A typical example of the saving is as follows: A dwelling with an
approved roof that formerly paid seventy cents per $100 for a three
year policy now pays only 40 cents for that same protection. Figured
in percentage that is a savings of 42.8 per cent. Naturally the savings
and percentage will vary with the different homes and business places
in the village, but there isn’t a place that will not benefit directly
from this new classification.

September 12, 1940 — To Celebrate Water & Sewer Completion

Commercial Club and Businessmen Cooperate in Big Event
The long awaited, long talked about Dorchester Water and Sewer
Completion Celebration is now going to be a reality. Members of the
Commercial Club are cooperating with the businessmen to make the
day one long to be remembered.

Saturday, September 21st is the date that has been set and activity
will start at 10 o’clock in the morning. A definite program will be
arranged tonight when all the committees will meet at the Club
House. It will be announced in the Clarion next week: Committees
for the affair are as follows: Kittenball: Rinka, Ketterl, Lawrie,
Sedlack and Hinke. Contests for Ladies and Children: Horse shoes,
Boxing: McVey, Beck, Mas Kronschnabl and M.S. Sorenson. Water
Fight: E.I. Genrich, Ray Holtz and Harold Martens. Tug of War:
Hiebsch and Henry Genrich. Prizes: M.E. Vircks, Frome, Merriman, Al
Sauter, Frank Seidel and Lester Vircks. Games: Dr. A.W. Schief, Frank
Hunt and Merriman. Dance: Frome, Jantsch, Fuchsgruber, H. Martens
and ray Holtz. Dance Lunch Stand: Fuchsgruber, Jantsch, E.I.
Genrich, Kraut, C.M. Vircks and J. Kronschnabl. Concessions: Fire
Department, Hiebsch, L. Sorenson, Erickson and Merriman.
Advertising: L.D. Sorenson, C.M. Vircks, Werner and Don Sauter.
Sale Committee: Rutzky, Werner, D. Schreiber, Beck, Erickson,
E.I. Genrich, Joe Sebold, Edgar Paulson and Al Sauter. Band: Laux
and McVey. General Assistants: Dr. Foley, Max Kronschnabl, J.
Kronschnabl, A. Leach, Kraut, G. Copeland, E. Leach, Laack, Kinyon,
Rinka, Ketterl, Krakenberger, Carl Mertens, Seigert, Pete Miller and
H. Buehrens.

September 19, 1940 — Tower and Pump House
Dorchester’s modern up to the minute water tower and pump house
are the visible evidence of their Water and Sewer Celebration on
Saturday. The giant tower is 155 feet high and holds 68,000 gallons
of water – 50,00 on th tank and 18,000 in the standpipe.
Total cost of the water system — exclusive of the sewers — was
approximately $74,000. Public utility bonds were sold for $30,000
and the WPA grant of $44,000 made up the balance.

The sewer project was started in March 1938 and completed at a cost
of about $32,000. A WPA grant of $29,000 and direct obligation
bonds of the village for $3,000 provided the necessary funds.

September 26, 1940—Water and Sewer Celebration held Last Saturday

Dorchester’s Water and Sewer Completion Celebration was fairly well
attended last Saturday. The crowd was held down because of the
great number of farmers filling silo. Those who attended enjoyed an
afternoon of sports, races and contests, with boxing matches and a
free dance in the evening.

The kittenball game was won by the married men from the town of
Mayville 17 to 16 over the married men from the town of Holton. The
tug of war between the two townships was won by Holton. In the
horseshoe pitching contest Delbert Dake and Edward Werner won first
and Vernon Underwood and Gene Roberts won second.

In the girls races, Marcella Vogl won first in the dash and Estella
Puescher second. Adeline Stoiber won first in the bicycle race and
Dorothy Stoiber and Beverly Genrich were tied for second.

In the boys races, James Herman won first in the dash and Herbert
Scidmore was second. In the relay race, Schumacher, Ulrich and
Sauter were first and Chas. Pethers, Elmer Fenzal and Richard
Patterson were second.

The main attraction of the evening was the boxing match between
Alvin Krause and Ben Reilly. Reilly was awarded the decision in three
rounds but the crowd thought it should have been the other way.
In the preliminary bouts Clarence Gebert fought Albert Strassberger,
Donald Paulson and Gordon Schief mixed it up and Don Underwood
and Kenneth Schumacher traded blows. Billy Bowe and Jerry Pickett
wrestled in the first match of the evening.

December 19, 1940 — Fire Insurance Rate In Village Takes Nose Dive

Dorchester residents the past week received approximately $650
refund on their insurance policies now in force as a result of the new
rating given the village of Dorchester because of the installation of a
water system. A few typical examples of the reduced rates will best
illustrate the savings made. The rate for a dwelling with a
composition roof was reduced from 70 cents per $100 for three years
to 40 cents and for a dwelling with a wood shingle roof from 85 cents
to 55 cents per $100 for three years.

The reductions in some of the business places was even more
marked. The Dorchester Co-op Produce Company feed and produce
warehouse was reduced from $2.89 to $2.12 per $1,000, and their
feed warehouse building from $2.71 to $1.54 per $1,000. Sauter Bros.
Implement building rate was reduced from $2.71 to $1.68 per $1,000
and the feed mill from $2.94 to $2.23.

Other typical reductions are: Weix Drug Store from $1.73 to $1.17;
Clover Farm Store $1.58 to $1.11; Schreiber’s Market from $1.84 to
$1.22 and Vircks Barber Shop from $2.43 to $1.26.

These reductions in insurance are made possible by the installation of
the water system in the village and indirectly help to lighten the cost
of the project. As the village improves it is reasonable to expect
further reductions, although not in the same proportion as this one.

August 6, 1959 — Village Water Tower Is Cleaned, Gets Paint Too

Dorchester’s residents the past week or so have been using well
water. Water that is, taken directly from the public supply’s well,
without being stored in the tank or standpipe.. That equipment is
receiving a regular treatment at the hands of cleaners and painters.
The job was started Wednesday of last week and is expected to be
completed momentarily. Involved is a complete scraping and
cleaning of the interior of the tower and repainting of the inside to
provide sanitary storage space for the public water supply.

October 17, 1963 — Drilling Well for Standby Water Supply

A standby well for emergency supply of water is being drilled by the
village on the lot directly in rear of the Otto Froebel property. Haupt
Well Drillers of Auburndale began the drilling Wednesda
y and went
down 40 feet that day.
Drillers said a water-bearing bed of gravel was reached but tests were
needed to show the quantity. The site was chosen as the most likely
to produce water after sinking of five or six test holes around the
village. Clifford Wetterau, village president, said yesterday that the
village is dependent solely on the one well which has been supplying
village water needs adequately for many years and without
diminution of quantity. 

He pointed out, however that emergencies can arise and interruption
of water supply during a fire would be disastrous. He mentioned the
long operating equipment at the village well as perhaps more likely to
interruption in operation now than when new. For those reasons, the
village government felt it prudent to provide an additional source of

November 7, 1963 — Second Village Well Produces Ample Water

Pumping at the new well of the village water system over a 24-hour
period produced 36,000 gallons of water, James Ortlieb, water works
superintendent, reported late last week. The flow was raised from
the approximately 50-foot depth through a 4-inch casing.

The capacity of the well was set at 175 gallons per minute.

A 30 inch casing will be put in the well. The village system’s original
well is rated at 600 gallons per minute. Ortlieb reports that average
consumption in the village is 25 gallons.

July 23, 1964 — New Village well Produces Large Quantity of Water

Thousands of gallons of water were pumped from the village’s
recently drilled well last week, as the driller, Miller Well & Pump Co
of Milwaukee test-pumped Monday and Tuesday.

Results of the test were received this week by Mrs. Alice Paulson,
village clerk. A partial summary of the test showed the rate of
pumping, (yield, perhaps) to be at 100 gallons per minute from
9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. July 13; 150 gallons per minute from 4:30
to 6:30; and 200 gallons per minute from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, July 14. Further work on the well and housing on the site
will be mapped at the next meeting of the village board of trustees,
which meets regularly on the first Wednesday evening of each month.
October 1, 1964 — Worth Of Water Apparent When There Is None
Village residents today have a new respect for an old and most
common commodity: water. They know today that water is perhaps
the single most necessary of all man’s needs

They know it because for the space of one trip around the clock face
by the short hand; they were without it. That long, the lack of water
was a serious inconvenience, even a little longer it would of become a

A combination of circumstances caused the failure of the village
water supply. The storage tank had been emptied to permit its
cleaning which was being done Tuesday.

During the job, the water is pumped directly into the mains and if the
pump fails in the process; the water shortage is immediate. So
Tuesday, it happened. In early afternoon, a bearing burned out in the
pumping system and it wasn’t repaired until Wednesday noon. The
water came back at almost exactly 1:00 P.M. The timing is exact
because, like everybody else, we here at the Clarion were hopefully
watching for the return of water from almost the very time the taps
went dry Tuesday.

Feb. 18, 1965 — New Well Now Supplies Dorchester Water Needs

Water from Dorchester’ new well now flows in the mains of the public
water system. The well was put in service Friday of last week when
the other well was withdrawn from service for renovation.

James Ortlieb water superintendent said this week that the water
may be a little roily and there may be some discoloration due to a
higher iron content. This due to the water not being filtered as is the
water from the older well. The filtration bed of that is also receiving
treatment. The new well will supply village water needs until work is
completed on the first well. Ortlieb estimated the time as
approximately a couple of weeks. The well which has served
Dorchester with water for 25 years is being cleaned and other work
includes opening a clogged screen which has impeded the water flow
some time and replacement of worn machinery parts where

March 18, 1965 — Dorchester Again Using Water from Original Well

Water from their well of many years was returned to Dorchester
water users Tuesday morning and by now all must have noticed that
the water they drink is more to the taste they have cultivated by
many years usage. Repairs to equipment and rejuvenation of the well
basin have been completed and the well is expected tp provide the
village with abundant water far into the future. The second well
bored last summer, is again paced on standby, emergency status.
The village’s water superintendent, James Ortlieb said today he plans
to flush hydrants Friday. He advised that this operation causes a
roiling of water in the mains. So persons wanting and needing clear
water should obtain their supplies before the flushing process which
he will start at 1:00 p.m. He said it takes about an hour and then an
hour or more for the water to clear afterward. Taps then should give
clear water after 3 o’clock or so.

May 16, 1968 — Village of Dorchester Files For Hike In Water Rates

The village of Dorchester, as a water public utility has filed an
application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for
authority to increase rate. The PSC has scheduled a hearing on the
petition for May 29, at 11:00 a.m. in Room 416, Hills Farms State
Office Building, 4802 Sheboygan Ave., Madison.

The village petition for rate increase declares that a new well has
been dug; water lines have been extended; there has been rate
increase for water service since 1939 when the public utility was
established. The PSC has given notice that it deems it necessary to
investigate the books, accounts, practices and activities of the Village
of Dorchester as a water public utility and deems it that it may be
necessary to make an appraisal of the applicant’s property.

October 12, 1972 — New Village Well Tests At 200 Gallons Per Minute

Dorchester’s new well produces at the rate of 200 gallons per minute.
That rate was measured in a 24-hour test pumping over Oct. 2 and 3.
The well designated Well 1-A is near Dorchester’s first well drilled in
1939. It will replace that well as the public water supply when
construction is completed.

Drilling of the well was begun Sept. 25 and was completed Sept. 28.
After the 24-hour test pumping period; the water was 24 feet deep in
the well. The present pumphouse will be extended to include Well 1-A;
with work on the project expected to be completed this fall.
Much of the present equipment: pump, controls, etc. will be employed
in using the new well. Where necessary, modernization and
modification will be made to adapt the equipment to its use.

March 6, 1991 — CBI Corporation of Naperville, Ill. Awarded Contract

The CBI Corporation of Naperville, Illinois was awarded a contract in
the amount of $327,100 by the Village of Dorchester for the
construction of a new water tower. The new tower will be $250,000
gallons in size and will be located on a piece of property south of the
park. It will be constructed at the same height as the old tower and
will operate in tandem with the old tower. The new tower will provide
for three days of water usage to the citizens of the community should
the pumping system not be available due to loss of power or other
mechanical disruptions. The old tower erected in 1939-40 would
require extensive renovation to bring it up to state standards and if
$125,000 was expended to repair the structure; there would still only
be a maximum of 68,000 gallons of water available for distribution to
the citizens of the community which is less than one days usage.

December 1, 1991 — New Water Tower Up and Ready For Use

The new tower was erected and the project considered completed by
this date December 1. The engineering firm recommended that the
tower not be filled till spring so that is when it is anticipated to be
fully functional and operational to the water users of the community.
May 3, 2002 — Bids For New Water Treatment Plant Let To Fluor Bros.
The Village Board awarded the contract for the new Water Treatment
Plant to Fluor Bros. Construction Company in the amount of
$1,339,500. The new plant will contain a tower, a chloride bath tank,
a iron removal process and a underground reservoir.

June 2003 — Dedication of New Water Treatment Plant Sunday

Dedication ceremonies were conducted at the site of the new Water
Treatment Plant on Sunday with the speakers being Bea Seidel, Village
President and Jim Jantsch, former Village President.

The new plant is designed to remove any chemicals and/or bacteria
that may be in the water plus remove most or all of the iron deposits
that may exist. There are also options for adding fluoride or other
ingredients that may become necessary in the future.

The process works like this; a 60 foot tower exists and which contains
42,500 plastic snowflakes which are the size of a baseball. The water
as it comes from the well is pumped to the top of the tower and as it
cascades down over the plastic snowflakes; the water droplets hit the
different angles of the snowflakes which causes the water droplets to
turn into a fine mist.

This relieves the water of any chemicals that may exist by turning the
chemicals into a vapor and letting them escape out the top of the
tower while the water continues down to the bottom of the tower.
Step two in the process is for the water to go thru a chloride bath
removing any bacteria that may be contained with the water droplets.
Step three is the removal of iron oxide particles by filtering the water
with rocks, then smaller stones and then sand and then the water is
retained in a large underground vault for 45 minutes before being
transported via a pipeline to the water tower three quarters of a mile
away. Once the water is in the tower; it becomes available for
distribution to the Dorchester residents.