Bear Creek Water Association, Inc. is a non-profit, member owned, rural water association that provides water and sewer services to more than 40,000 people in a 105-square-mile service area in the rapidly urbanizing south Madison County region between the cities of Ridgeland to the south, Canton to the north, Flora to the west, and the Ross Barnett Reservoir to the east. The Association currently has more than 16,500 water connections and more than 5,500 sewer connections. The Association was formed by a small group of interested citizens in 1968 to serve what was then a rural area of about 30 square miles with scattered homes and farms between the cities of Canton and Madison. The original Bear Creek water system, funded with Farmers Home Administration loans, was built in 1971 and went into operation in late 1972, serving about 600 customers.
In the mid 1990’s the Association acquired the privately owned wastewater system in the Deerfield subdivision and immediately started expanding public sewer service to other parts of its service area. With the availability of public fire protection, water service, and sewer service, the area north of Madison started a rapid transition from rural to urban, and from an almost completely low density rural residential environment to a more mixed land use pattern of residential, commercial, and industrial. Bear Creek Water Association currently provides public sewer to about 72 square miles of south Madison County, all of which is within the water system service area. Bear Creek Water Association’s sewer is currently transported for treatment to facilities owned by the Madison County Wastewater Authority.
Bear Creek Water Association is currently the largest rural water association in the State of Mississippi, and serves a portion of the City of Canton, City of Ridgeland, City of Madison, and unincorporated areas of Madison County. Bear Creek Water Association was named the Mississippi Water Distribution System of the Year for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 by the AL/MS Section of the American Water Works Association.