Your Water System’s Story

In the 1920’s Mr. Newman Cheek built his country estate called Sherwood Forest on the banks of the Cumberland River in Madison, Tennessee. Mr. Cheek of the Maxwell House Coffee’s Cheek Family needed a good source of clean drinking water so he built a water treatment plant as his personal water system for his home. Being a man of vision he later allowed his neighbors to hook onto his water system, realizing the importance of abundant clean water to his friends and neighbors for the enhancement of their daily lives.

Mr. Cheek was determined to find a way to provide more water to the area. He established the Madison Water Company and the Lakewood Water Company, all while exercising his guidance on the water system so that the intended purpose to provide water to the public was not lost. Demand soon outweighed supply so he began to lobby state legislators to create special governmental utility districts, with defined boundaries. In 1937 The Utility District Acts of Tennessee were passed and signed into law by the TN State Legislature. This allowed the Madison Suburban Utility District to form and gave it the ability to gain financing and the incomes needed to expand.

Since its beginning in 1939 serving only 1,246 customers, the Madison Suburban Utility District has grown to serve an estimated population of 70,000 with 19,800 meters from Inglewood, Madison, Goodlettsville, and Bellshire areas. The water treatment plant has been expanded to a capacity to produce 16.5 million gallons of water per day, with a peak demand of 10.5 million gallons of water. There is a total daily storage of over 12 Million Gallons throughout the system. The District has installed just under 2,300 public fire hydrants to meet the 500 foot rule for fire protection, and supplies fire protection water throughout its water system. Today annual water sales have grown to approximately $8 Million Dollars from residential and commercial-industrial users.

Over the progression of time the District has been fortunate to have visionary leaders who valued tenured service and dedication to the community. Operating with a court appointed three-member Board of Commissioners the District has had only 19 total Board Members in over 78 years. MSUD is overseen by the Comptroller of the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Conservation and Environment, its Board of Commissioners, and operated daily by 48 dedicated employees.

With a strategy of always moving forward, MSUD has installed or replaced necessary infrastructures to meet the public water demand. The Board of Commissioners continues to make decisions to protect the public water supply for its customers, and to meet future demands of service for increasing development and regulatory changes.

Until his death in 1979 Mr. Cheek continued to keep an eye on the District, but long since the days of his original vision in the beginning days of the water system, The Madison Suburban Utility District continues to thrive and to meet growth and development successfully. The Madison Suburban Utility District is committed to honor and to carry on Mr. Cheek’s legacy through the delivery of an abundant supply of clean and esthetically pleasing water for the enhancement and livability of this community.

District Statistics

Public Governmental Water System
in Davidson County, TN

  • 1920’s – 1938- Lakewood Water Company and Madison Water Company
  • 1939- Madison Suburban Utility District 1,246 customers
  • 2017- over 19,800 meters serving a 70,000 population
  • 10.5 million gallons- peak demand
  • 16.5 million gallons water- plant capacity
  • 2294 public fire hydrants
  • 6 water tanks, 4 booster stations
  • Over 270 Miles of Water Mains
  • Water Source – Cumberland River


  • Governing Board – 3 Court Appointed Commissioners
  • 19 Commissioners in over 78 years
  • 4 General Managers since beginning of company
  • 48 Dedicated Employees

Regulatory Oversight

  • TN Dept. of Conservation and Environment
  • 100% on Sanitary Survey by TDEC
  • Comptroller –State of Tennessee