Water Department (OWD)
began in the late 1800's when a group of investors from Baltimore, Maryland pooled their money and built the treatment plant and distribution system.
privately owned water department, called "The Peoples Water
Company of Baltimore, Maryland," remained that way until 1920, when
the City of Oskaloosa purchased the water department for $230,000 and renamed
Oskaloosa Municipal Water Department."
At that time, the City of Oskaloosa sold a total of $300,000 worth of revenue bonds, both for the initial purchase, and to make $70,000 worth of improvements to the infrastructure. The Mayor immediately appointed a three member Board of Trustees to oversee the water department operations and employees were hired.
There have been many changes made to the entire water system since 1920. The treatment plant has seen many modifications, the source water has changed completely, and the distribution system has been added to and upgraded many times.
Currently, the source water is provided entirely by wells along the South Skunk River. The treatment process is very extensive and includes lime softening. Many miles of water mains in the distribution system range from four inches to twenty inches in size. The system also includes two elevated storage tanks (water towers) and approximately 5,200 active accounts, or meters, in the system.