Joint Water Utility Feasibility Study

Cities of Centerville, Circle Pines, Columbus, Hugo, Lexington and Lino Lakes, MN


  • $61,900 estimated total


  • Completed June 2016
Clean Water Fund Logo


This project, led by the Council in conjunction with Barr Engineering Company, Inc. consultants, evaluated the implications of combining certain components of municipal water supply and distribution systems in the cities of Centerville, Circle Pines, Columbus, Hugo, Lexington and Lino Lakes. Together, the cities cover an area of approximately 100 square miles and have a current combined population of approximately 50,000 people, or 17,000 households. A substantial amount of land in the combined cities is undeveloped, and the population is expected to grow substantially in the next few decades.

Two Joint Utility options were considered. Option 1 considered a system where a new entity would own and operate a combined supply, storage and treatment system with the individual cities owning the distribution systems within their own borders. Option 2 considered a fully integrated system where the combined entity owns and operates all potable water related infrastructure. Option 3 considered no changes are made and the utilities continue to operate independently.

This preliminary feasibility study identifies the advantages and disadvantages of combining systems, how a collaborative effort might be managed, and, in a preliminary way, presents what the financial impacts to each city may be. The feasibility study looked at the effects of collaborative efforts for the current water systems and a future scenario for the year 2040.


Final Report: Joint Water Utility Feasibility Study (PDF, 5 MB)


  • Improved understanding of the challenges and benefits of water supply collaboration among metropolitan area communities