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Iten's Water Service


Mike Cote


Water is a colorless, odorless and sometimes a tastelesssubstance. The chemical name for water is H20. Without water we would die.Our body would dry up and shrink up like a piece of dried beef. Our bodycontains more than 80% water. Our blood is made up of water, that makesit a valuable necessity for any body to function properly.

Since 1969, the trend in our water has dropped. By thisI mean that man has not taken care of his natural resources. He is pollutinghis waters and destroying himself. The main factors involved are chemicalwastes, sewage, thermal, and then silt and just plain crud. These five arethe most serious of all. The villains you might say are the industrial uses,they take up 60% of the fault. Next you, or the municipalities are takingup 25% of it. Then last, but not least, are the agricultural areaswhich take up the last 15% of the damage to our waterways. The average cornplant uses fifty gallons of water in its growing season. So that means thatall living things need water to live.

Many years back, in fact it was back in 1935, when ClarenceIten came to this area. He found that it was hard to get good water aroundin this area. The water around here is polluted with chemicals or it hasa base of alkali. This is a poisonous powder which is used to make soap.It is found in the soil of our fertile plains and is a threat to the qualityof the yield of the grains which the farmers grow in this area. In the oldendays, the farmers used to pack ice or build a pond in the summer for whenthe spring floods came. The water would be used to feed the livestock andfor human consumption.

Clarence then thought that it would be a good idea to sellwater and haul it the residents in the rural areas around here. He startedby buying a truck and just hauling water for the people. Clarence has hadfifteen trucks since his first one. That is a lot of water hauled and alot of money involved. Clarence has one hundred fifty customers and travelsabout three thousand miles a month and about three thousand miles a year.He has customers in five towns. These five are Kennedy, St. Vincent, Humboldt,Hallock, and some residents in Pembina. One truck holds one thousand fourhundred gallons of water. That is a lot of wear and tear on tires and theequipment that is involved. So he must be doing quite all right.

Clarence said that the town is going to put in a watersystem soon because the Pembina people all ready used it and it worked outvery well.


Clarence Iten, Interview December 23, 1971

en, Interview December 23, 1971