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Managing Losses in Water Distribution Brings Recognition to the City of Bedford, IA

Water demand is on the rise and resources are diminishing. Water losses from the distribution network can be a contributing factor, however, maintaining a high-quality and efficient distribution system can be expensive.

When the City of Bedford’s water treatment plant could no longer serve the city’s needs, they decided to purchase water rather than upgrade their system. At the time, it seemed like a viable solution until they realized their water main was leaking and the valuable treated water was being lost within their network of cast iron water pipes. Find out how Project Manager, Jeff Godwin, P.E., and the team at Snyder & Associates helped Bedford solve their water supply issues and gain statewide recognition in the process.

Podcast Agenda

  • Approaches for Water Loss Management (00:17)
  • Obtaining Funding for Water Infrastructure Projects (01:17)
  • Bedford Recognized as Iowa Rural Water Association (IRWA) City of the Year (02:09)


Jeff Godwin Contact Box White Circle Headshot

Jeff Godwin, P.E.

Civil Engineer

Jeff Godwin, P.E.

Civil Engineer

Stormwater Management, Erosion Control, Wastewater Treatment Systems, and Water Supply Systems

Approaches for Water Loss Management

White Bedford water tower on a clear day

Our team helped modernize and update multiple aspects of Bedford, Iowa’s water system.

Snyder & Associates has been working with the City of Bedford for quite a few years on different water projects. Many years ago, the city was facing issues with its water treatment plant. It was not up to date, and they realized that they could not afford to bring that up to date because they also did not have a good water source. They purchased Southern Iowa Rural Water Association (SIRWA) and agreed to start buying their water, which eliminated the need to treat the water. Then they noticed that they had quite a large water loss and they were struggling to find those leaks within their system. During the years, 2008 – 2015, they tried four different medium-sized water main replacement projects in an effort to reduce that water loss. But it was fairly unsuccessful as far as the percentages go. They found that this band-aid approach of just replacing a little bit of water main in some suspected poor areas was not really fixing the problem.

Obtaining Funding for Water Infrastructure Projects

In about 2019, they approached the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) about the possibility of obtaining funding for a large water project with the idea that if they completely replaced the rest of the cast iron water mains in town, they would find those leaky areas and get that water loss back under control. Snyder & Associates completed a preliminary engineering report which recommended improvements to the water tower controls, repainting the water tower, and a large amount of replacement of the water mains in town so that all the water mains in town would be modern PVC materials. That report was funded by USDA in August of 2020. In 2021 several different contracts were awarded to treat various parts of the project and they are currently underway.

Bedford Recognized as Iowa Rural Water Association (IRWA) City of the Year

The city’s very excited about getting this water system updated and getting everything modernized. Recently, we were notified that the Iowa Rural Water Association has chosen Bedford as their community of the year in Iowa in recognition of all this work that they have completed on their water systems. So that is a nice pat on the back for the City of Bedford and the importance they place on their water system. 

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