JOPLIN, Mo. —The Purcell water system is now officially under the operations of Missouri American Water. The transition to private ownership started more than a year ago. That’s when the company stepped in to help the city with a growing list of compliance issues.

Purcell voters approved the sale of the system last year — which covers both water and wastewater operations.

“Reliability and compliance and you know, Purcell’s not unique in that there are so many small communities throughout the state, especially on the wastewater side, facing regulatory compliance issues. And they’re understanding and seeing that the amount of investment needed is so much that, it’s a difficult thing for these small municipalities to take on,” said Christie Barnhart, Missouri American Water Company.

The company plans to invest nearly $2.5 million to upgrade the Purcell system in the next five years.