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Work is under way on a $13.5 million project that will relocate a water line from the Sundre well field that carries two-thirds of Minot’s municipal water.
The project includes building a 2 million gallon storage reservoir, constructing a booster pump station near the Sundre well field southeast of Minot, and installing miles of new pipeline that will bring raw water from the aquifer to the Minot Water Treatment Plant.
The new booster pump station will push the water from the new storage reservoir being built near the Sundre aquifer through a new 24-inch pipe to a location approximately 4 miles south of Minot near 93rd Avenue Southeast, where it will tie into the existing line for the Northwest Area Water Supply project. From there, the water will be sent northeast for approximately 7.2 miles into the City of Minot Water Treatment Plant.
One major reason behind the project is related to future flood control projects in the city. The Sundre booster station project is scheduled to be complete and operational by March 2, 2018, before any work begins on phases of the flood protection plan. The current Sundre line would have to be relocated in several locations once flood control project work begins.
Dan Jonasson, Public Works Director for the City of Minot, said officials studied how many times the Sundre water line would have to be relocated during flood project construction, and concluded that building an entirely new line to the treatment plant would be more cost efficient.
“There are several points where the Sundre line would have to be relocated, with a total cost of more than $20 million. The cost to relocate the Sundre line for Phase 1 alone would be about $3 million,” Jonasson said. “This is a better solution, and it’s more cost-efficient than relocating the Sundre line numerous times for flood protection. There are also some requirements from the Corps of Engineers pertaining to boring under levees that would make relocating the Sundre line almost impossible and very costly in some locations.”
The project is expected to cost $13.5 million, with 65% of the cost being paid for by the State Water Commission. The City of Minot is paying for the project up front, and then the City will get an equal amount of credit from the State Water Commission on future water projects, including flood control.
Jason Sorenson, Assistant Public Works Director for the City of Minot, said the Sundre aquifer provides roughly two-thirds of the water for Minot, with five wells drawing water from an aquifer southeast of Minot. Currently, the raw water travels to a temporary holding structure, and then flows through a line that zig-zags through parts of Minot, including Railway Avenue and Fourth Avenue near the north side of the Broadway Bridge, before eventually arriving at the Water Treatment Plant. The project will change that process.
“The new line will be much more efficient, and we won’t have to worry about relocating that line in several places throughout the City,” Sorenson said. “With the new line, we won’t have to disrupt neighborhoods and traffic numerous times when the Sundre line would have to be relocated during work on phases of the flood protection plan.”
The current water line, a gravity dependent line built in 1975, carries about 5,700 gallons of raw water per minute from the Sundre well field to the Water Treatment Plant. The new 24-inch line will be a pressure line, and will bring approximately 9,000 gallons of raw water to the Water Treatment Plant.
In conjunction with the NAWS project, Phase 2 of an expansion project will allow the Water Treatment Plant to treat up to 26 million gallons of water per day. Currently, the facility can treat a little more than 13 million gallons per day.