The Early Years: Farmers and Irrigation
The Draper Irrigating Company (later changed to Draper Irrigation Company) was founded in 1888 by a group of local farmers who combined their water rights to form a mutual stock company. These early stockholders/owners worked together with their tools and horses to build and maintain a system of open irrigation canals and ditches to deliver mountain water to their farms. In those early days, the company provided only irrigation water; there was sno culinary water service in draper, which was an unincorporated community.
Adding Culinary Water Service
The company began providing culinary service on a limited basis around 1911. The system grew piece by pece over the years as the need dictated.
At first, the culinary system used untreated mountain water, with screens to filter out leaves and other debris. In the 1930s, settling tanks were added to further purify the water. In 1952 the Board of Health stated that in order for local dairy farmers to sell Grade A milk, the water supply must be chlorinated, and the company complied.
In 1971, the company’s treatment plant went into service, using sedimentation and flocculation methods to treat the water. The plant was upgraded in 2004, using a state-of-the-art microfiltration system.
The Pressure Irrigation System
In 1994, the copany replaced its century-old flood irrigation system with a pressurized irrigation system using piped water. There were several reasons for this change:
- Flood irrigation uses much more water per acre, so pressurized irrigation conserves precious resources
- Draper was rapidly changing from a farming community to a residential community, and pressurized irrigation is more suitable to residential communities
- The pressurized irrigation system can make better use of the company’s Utah Lake waster rights, conserving the high-quality mountain waster for hte culinary system
Throughout its history, Draper Irrigation/WaterPro has been a non-profit, shareholder owned, company. Although the water rights are privately owned, they are owned by the company, and not by individuals. Each stockholder’s share in the company give him or her the right to use a specific amount of water. Water rights are not helped for speculation or sold for profit by any individual. Any profit made by the company is used to build and maintain the infrastructure for delivering water to shareholders.
In the last 1990s, WaterPro was created as a fully-owned subsidiary of Draper Irrigation Company. Draper Irrigation Company holds the water rights, while WaterPro owns the buildings, vehicles, and equipment; maintains the culinary and irrigation, system, and provides customer service to all the shareholders of Draper Irrigation Company. Shareholders pay their water bills (culinary and irrigation) to WaterPro, and all the employees are employed by WaterPro.
WaterPro / Draper Irrigation Today
When Draper city was incorporated in 1979, the city began to supply culinary service to some of the residents of the area. a franchise agreement in the 1990s established service area boundaries, so some Draper residents are served by WaterPro/Draper Irrigation, while others are served by Draper city.
WaterPro/Draper Irrigation continues to work for the welfare of Draper residents as we look to the future by:
- Working cooperatively with other privately-owned water companies to establish and protect legislative rights that put us on a par with municipally owned water systems. We feel that this is our best path to serving our customers.
- Building infrastructure to provide water service for futre Draper residents, including two four-million-gallon tanks in Corner Canyon, as well as many other infrastructure improvements and upgrades.
- Constantly upgrading our water treatment methods as federal regulations for water quality continue to evolve.
- Making the most of our assets while minimizing our carbon footprint through hydroelectric power generation, as well as investigating geothermal and other alternative power methods.