Saint Paul Regional Water Services, or SPRWS, is the public drinking water utility for the city of Saint Paul and surrounding suburbs. We've been a public water utility since 1882, and our origin traces to a private company formed in 1869.

As of 2017, SPRWS serves approximately 446,000 customers, second only to Minneapolis as the largest water utility in the state. In order to meet this demand for reliable, high-quality drinking water, we pump an average of about 39 million gallons of water per day through our distribution system. Our distribution system is composed of more than 1,100 miles of water main, 10,000 hydrants, and 95,000 service lines.

No taxes are used to support the utility. The utility is self-supporting with revenue obtained through the sale of water and payment for services.

More information on the history and development of SPRWS is available in an interactive format.

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Strategic Planning

Mission Statement

To provide reliable, quality water and services at a reasonable cost.

Vision Statement

To be a regional and national water industry leader emphasizing quality product, services, and cost containment.

Strategic Plan

Our full 2019 - 2021 strategic plan (PDF - 1.96 MB) is available. In it you can learn more details about our organization as well as our plans and priorities.

 

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Customers and Areas We Serve

We serve more than 446,000 customers in 14 cities. We classify these cities into three different categories:

  • Retail: SPRWS provides water directly to what is effectively all customers
  • Wholesale: SPRWS provides water to a city; the city then provides water to it's customers
  • Limited Retail: SPRWS provides water directly to only some customers
Map of service area. Retail is St Paul, Maplewood, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, West St Paul, Mendota, Mendota Heights. Limited retail is Lilydale, Sunfish Lake, South St Paul, and Newport. Wholesale is Roseville, Arden Hills, Little Canda.

Retail communities: Saint Paul, Maplewood, West Saint Paul, Mendota Heights, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale

Wholesale communities: Roseville, Little Canada, Arden Hills

Limited Retail communities: Lilydale, Sunfish Lake, South Saint Paul, Newport 

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Governance and Administration

Governance

The utility is governed by the Board of Water Commissioners, which consists of:

  • Three members of the Saint Paul City Council
  • Two Saint Paul citizens
  • Two members of the remaining suburbs served by SPRWS

Administration

The utility has four divisions - business, engineering, distribution, and production. Each operates under the direction of a division manager.

Administration:
Patrick Shea - General Manager
Appointed by and responsible to the Board of Water Commissioners. Oversees the utility.

Racquel Vaske - Assistant General Manager
Oversees safety, security, public information, the Business Improvement Unit, and human resources. Acts in place of the general manager when the general manager is not available.

Business Division:
Dolly Ludden - Manager
Oversees customer service, financial services, information services, and meter operations, which includes meter reading.

Engineering Division:
Dave Wagner - Manager
Oversees engineering projects, permit office, utility-wide asset management, and the capital improvement program.

Distribution Division:
Todd Blomstrom - Manager
Oversees construction crews and dispatch office.

Production Division:
Jim Bode - Manager
Oversees McCarrons treatment plant, dewatering and wash water recovery plant, water quality laboratory, and Vadnais Station.

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Financials

Funding and High Level Financial Information

No taxes are used to support the utility. The utility is self-supporting with revenue obtained through the sale of water and payment for services. The Board of Water Commissioners was set up pursuant to Minnesota Special Laws for 1885, Chapter 110, and provides authority to establish rates that are sufficient to pay the expenses and costs for maintenance and repairs, and the interest and principal on debt. State law establishes the Board and provides that the rates are adequate to cover the costs of operation and maintenance, and to retire all bonds. 

As of December 31, 2019,  the net position for the utility totaled approximately $338 million; operating revenues for the fiscal year were $63 million. The utility currently has approximately 260 budgeted full-time equivalent employees. To ensure the highest quality water, the utility continuously upgrades its operations and facilities to the most efficient and up-to-date methods and equipment available. Utility employees are expected to be conscientious, dedicated public servants, and ready to render helpful and courteous service to all customers.

Annual and Audited Financial Reports

2019 Annual Financial Report (PDF - 2.90 MB)

Overview of finances and related significant factors for Saint Paul Regional Water Services and it's various divisions.

2019 Audited Financial Report (PDF - 1.75 MB)

Detailed financial information for Saint Paul Regional Water Services.

Minnesota Public Facilities Authority Notice

On November 4, 2016, the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA) approved a financing agreement to Saint Paul Regional Water Services for improvements to their drinking water system. The PFA’s financing package consists of a $7,564,417 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan with a 20 year term and 1.033% interest rate. The project consists of electrical improvements to the McCarrons Water Treatment Plant.

The DWSRF is supported by federal capitalization grants from the U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency and state matching funds. These funds, together with PFA revenue bond proceeds, are used to make low interest loans to cities throughout the state for drinking water infrastructure projects.  Since 1999, Minnesota’s DWSRF has awarded more than 400 loans totaling over $800 million.

Last Edited: September 15, 2021