Skip to main content


In the middle 1960's a group of businessmen and farmers knew there was a need for the rural community to have a safe high-quality water supply. In the late 1960's they went to Washington D.C. to see if there was a way to obtain monies for this purpose. After several months of investigation it was found that the Farmers Home Administration (FHA) had been financing similar projects in the Western states and they would see if they could find funding for this project.

Then the work began. It was decided to form this company as a non-profit corporation to be established to provide a service to the rural families of Highland County. A Board of twelve Directors was formed to start working toward that goal. There would be a lot of legwork that needed to be done to obtain the necessary right of ways and prospective customers to make this project feasible for funding from FHA.

In 1968 the necessary paperwork was completed and a four million dollar project to provide service to 2,200 customers in Highland County was started. In 1969 a two million gallon per day lime-soda softening treatment plant was started in the Rainsboro area and 256 miles of pipeline was started.

In September of 1971 the system was completed and the first customers of Highland County Water Company, Inc. were receiving a safe high-quality water supply. From the starting date in September 1971, Highland County Water Company, Inc. has been continually under construction for the purpose of serving more customers.

In 1974 another loan from FHA in the amount of $442,000.00 was obtained to serve the people in the northern section of Highland County and a portion of Clinton County. This was called the Willettsville Project.

In 1976 another FHA loan was granted in the amount of $1,036,000.00 to extend lines all over the present system and in Brown and Adams Counties.

In 1979 more need existed so a project to expand the system began and was FHA funded in the amount of $1,000,000.00.

In 1984 another expansion into parts of Highland County and Clinton County was completed. This was a project with a cost of $1,121,000.00. Completed with FHA financing.

In 1985 the Company entered into a contract in the amount of $300,000.00 to provide an intake into Paint Creek Lake to increase our water supply to assist the well field.

In November of 1987 Highland County Water Company, Inc. bought the McFarland Ford Dealership building. A building with approximately 6,000 square feet. The office area was 1,692 square feet. The building was purchased for $160,000.00 and $30,699.00 was spent on renovations. At that time Highland County Water Company, Inc. was serving approximately 5,100 customers.

In March of 1991 as the company was installing the Paint Creek intake; we discovered that there was an abundant amount of ground water in that area that could be tapped into. The company decided to install three new wells at the Paint Creek Lake site. At the same time there were various main line extensions throughout the system that needed to be run to add new customers. Both of these projects totaled $1,004,000.00 and were completed with Rural Development Association (RDA, formerly known as FHA) financing. As the demand on our treatment plant grew the need for more on site storage was needed so the company built a one million gallon clear well at the plant at a cost of $ 820,000.00. (RDA financing)

In September of 1995 it was decided to install a main from the treatment plant to the Hillsboro storage tanks to put a redundant main line in service and another main line from the well field to protect the system against any down time. Also over several years one of the storage tanks had not been able to be in service because of the elevation so it was decided to move the tank to Mad River Road. These projects were accomplished at a cost of $1,800,000.00. (RDA financing) Soon after a 10 inch main transmission line from the elevated storage tank on Mad River Road to State Route 135 at Lynchburg was installed to improve water flow into that area at a project cost of $ 325,000.00. (RDA financing)

In October of 1996 the Highland County Water Company, Inc. Management and Board of Directors in an effort to meet the future demands and capacities of the system decided to change the treatment plant from a lime soda softening to iron and manganese removal treatment. This would accomplish two goals for the future; (1) it would operate at a lower cost per gallon of water produced and (2) it would cost the company less when it was decided to build an addition to the present treatment facility to meet the future growth of the system.

April 20, 1998 bids were open that would build a 750,000-gallon storage tank and pump station at New Market to serve the southern portion of the water system. Bids amounted to $546,000.00 for the tank and $78,000.00 for the pump station. With controls installed at both sites the total cost was $714,239.46. (RDA financing)

September 21, 1998 bids were open to update the treatment plant from two million gallons per day to a four to six million gallon per day treatment facility at a cost of $2,702,675.00. (RDA financing)

At our well fields we use two 650 gallon per minute pumps and four 800 gallon per minute pumps with 16 inch cased wells as our main sources of water. Our treatment plant facility is located twelve miles east of Hillsboro on U.S. Route 50 and is designed to produce 4 to 6 million gallons per day of safe treated water for the public. Our Paint Creek well field with three 800 Gallon per minute pumps is located approximately four miles from the treatment plant on Deer Park Road in eastern Highland County and our Bainbridge well field with two 650 gallon per minute and one 800 gallon per minute pumps is located nine miles east of the treatment plant in Ross County. There are seven water storage tanks in the system with a total capacity of 2.85 million gallons of water storage.

In 2001 a 750,000-gallon storage tank was erected at Johnson Road. With the booster pump station the cost was $686,157. A 12-inch main was installed at the same time from Worley Mill Road to Careytown at a cost of $1,696,263. Completed with company funds.

In late 2004 the Highland County Water Company, Inc. with the assistance of the Brown County Commissioners completed a water main extension project in Brown County. The project was funded by grant funds provided by the Commissioners and a low interest loan through the Ohio Water Development Authority. In 2006 a 12-inch main was completed from Route 62 North to Anderson Road at Horner Hill Road with a cost of $1,135,417.00. This was installed with water company funds.

In November 2006 the water company moved into a new office facility. This facility is 13,525 square feet. The office area is 8,800 square feet. The cost was $1,027,988.00. Of this amount $750,000.00 was a direct loan from RDA. The remaining amount was from the water company funds. At the time the water company moved into this facility they were serving over 10,000 customers.

In July 2008 the water company completed a 12-inch water main around New Vienna from Careytown to Farmers Station on SR 28. This water main extension was completed to help move more water to the western portion of the system. Company funds were used to cover the $ 1,600,000 project.

We have listed the major improvements. Highland County Water Company, Inc. is continually making other improvements to the water system using their funds.

Highland County Water Company has a service crew of eight employees, seven treatment plant operators on around the clock duties at the treatment plant. Our office facility is located at the edge of Hillsboro on U.S. Route 50 West. The water company is presently operating with a General Manager, an Assistant General Manager, five office clerks, a Plant Superintendent, seven operators, a Field Manager, Field Supervisor, and eight service personnel.

Highland County Water Company, Inc., was financed by Farmers Home Administration (FHA) now Rural Development Association (RDA) and presently has seven Board of Directors.

Presently the water company has 24 employees to serve 11,000 customers in 5 counties who are receiving service through more than 950 miles of pipeline.