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South Texas Living

Remembering Wilson County’s first-ever rural water system

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April 30, 2014 | 3,897 views | Post a comment

Published in the Stockdale Star Dec. 19, 1968

A $275,000 insured loan has been made to a group of 200 farm and rural families in Wilson and Karnes Counties in Texas to develop a hydro-pneumatic rural water system, reports Phylom H. Cox, County Supervisor, Floresville, Texas. Members of the association contributed $10,000. The total cost of the system will be $282,710, leaving $2,290 for expenses and reserve until the system is in full operation.

The loan was closed Monday, December 16th. A well to supply water for the association has been drilled into the Carizzo Sands on a plot donated by Jerome Flieller, Jr. The well was drilled by Thomas Moy and has been thoroughly tested and the water approved by the Texas State Department of Health. The cost of the well was $9,980.

Contract for construction of the distribution system has been awarded to the low bidder, Bella Company, Beaumont, Texas for a total of $240,495.22. Construction is scheduled to begin the first week of January and the contractor has 90 working days in which to complete the construction.

Bella Company will construct 7 pumping stations and 7 ground storage tanks that will provide 120,000 gallons storage and lay 74 miles beginning about 2 miles southeast of Floresville and extending into the Cestohowa Community in Karnes County.

Construction of the project will provide 5050 man-days of labor for engineers, well drillers. Operators of the ditch digging equipment, surveyors and day laborers. Approximately 30 people will be employed in the construction of the water system. The system will be capable of delivering 288,000 gallons of water a day when completed.

County supervisor Cox reports that construction of the water system will mark a milestone in the history of Wilson and Karnes Counties Rural Areas Development Program.

“The new water system will increase the income of farmers along the line and estimate that they will increase their livestock herds by at least 1000 head. It will also enable families to modernize their homes, install bathrooms, purchase washing machines and other equipment and enjoy a better standard of health,” Director Cappleman said.

He estimated 25 new homes would be built along the waterline in the coming year. Land values will increase throughout the area served, he noted. More than 1000 people, 2 stores, 3 churches, 1 fertilizer plant, 1 plastic factory and 3 community centers will be served by the new system.

For many years, many of the families in the area have been hauling water to fill their cisterns during dry periods. Water, at a reasonable depth for family use is highly mineralized and much of it is contaminated. Water for the livestock is of very poor quality and most livestock do not drink enough of it for optimum requirements. Most of the well water is unfit for laundry, which involves extra expense for hauling water or driving to town to do the laundry.

The Farmers Home Administration loan is to be repaid over a period of 40 years. Officers of the Sunko Water Supply Corporation are: Aaron A. Sells, President; Rt. 2, Box 97, Stockdale; Albert Pruski, Vice-President; Rt. 2, Box 59; Jerome B. Flieller, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer; Box 233, Floresville; Anton Kolodziej, Rt. 1, Box 78 A, Falls City, and Raymond Camber, Rt. 1 Box 12, Falls City.

“For the first time in the history, the members of the association will have ample supply of pure, safe water,” Mr. Sells said of the rural water system loan.

He is confident many families will move into the area now that they will have access to all the pure water they want.

Rural water system loans are available to organizations operating on a non-profit basis such as non-profit corporations and water supply districts, small rural towns and other rural political subdivisions are also eligible.

“First Rural Water System Let” was an article published in the Stockdale Star newspaper, Thursday, December 19, 1968, found in the files of the Wilson County Historical Society Archives and submitted by Gene Maeckel for Historic Moments in Wilson County, Texas. Wilson County Historical Society, P. O. Box 101, Floresville, Texas 78114,

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