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The City of Minot’s mandatory restriction on outdoor water usage in early June was necessary due to a combination of issues – including the ongoing drought and unseasonably hot temperatures.
The City uses 14 wells to provide raw water to the treatment plant; five wells are located southeast of Minot in the Sundre well field, with nine wells in Minot at various locations. Those wells provide approximately 15 million gallons of water every day, with roughly two-thirds of it coming from the five Sundre wells. When at full capacity, the system stores approximately nine million gallons in three ground storage facilities, and another four million gallons in four elevated storage facilities.
The hot weather and lack of rain combined to drive Minot’s overall daily water usage to 11.5 million gallons in early June. Minot’s treatment facility can normally handle that demand, but production was limited to around nine million gallons daily because four of Minot’s wells were not providing water, for a variety of different reasons.
Well 14: Southwest Minot
This well was working normally before Memorial Day. It was temporarily turned off when storage facilities were full, but would not operate when employees turned it on again. After inspection, employees found that the motor needed to be replaced. Repairs were made and the well was back online June 4.
Wells 5/6: Northwest Minot
These wells were operating normally, but the transmission line between these two wells and the treatment plant needed replacement. The City is in the process of replacing this line, meaning these two wells were offline while the work was happening. The portion of the line being replaced was installed in the early l900s. Work has been completed on that new section of line, and these wells will be back online early next week. The remaining portion of the transmission line is scheduled to be replaced in 2022.
Well E: Sundre well field
This well that typically produces approximately 1 million gallons per day had been offline since March. The pump and motor were in need of replacement, and several feet of sand and gravel had built up in the bottom of the well because of a hole in the casing. A new casing liner was installed recently, as well as a new pump and motor. It was back online and producing on June 8.
Well 8: Northwest Minot
This well normally produces about 730 gallons per minute, but employees at the treatment plant noticed in early June that it was producing about half that amount. When the well company employees were in Minot to do other repair work on the other wells, they also inspected this well and replaced the pump and motor. The well was back online on June 10.