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Stutsman Rural Water expands its footprint

Residents in Woodworth along with about 270 rural households in Griggs, Foster and northern Stutsman counties will be getting a new source of water this summer.

Construction is starting this month on about 270 miles of water pipeline in an expansion to the Stutsman Rural Water District.

"This will be wonderful," said Steve Scarbrough, Woodworth mayor. "We have a water plant with a 15,000-gallon tank but it will be good to get rid of it."

Scarbrough said the community of about 42 households was constantly in fear of a failure of the 30-year-old equipment that made up the city water treatment plant.

"If something had ever gone wrong we don't have the money to fix it," he said. "And the water plant is old and it wouldn't take much for us to have a major problem."

Stutsman Rural Water will purchase treated water from Carrington and pump it to a tank near Woodworth.

"That water tank at Woodworth is the highest point in our system," said Geneva Kaiser, system manager for the district. "We will have a gravity feed from there to the rest of the system, which cuts down on costs."

Kaiser said construction of the expansion project is expected to begin this month with a scheduled completion date of July 1, 2013. The $10.1 million project was funded by a $6.8 million grant from the North Dakota Water Commission and $3.4 million in loans.

"Depending on the construction season they should get the bulk of the work done this summer," Kaiser said. "They would have next spring to clean up any odds and ends."

Rural homes will be hooked into the system in sections as areas of pipeline are completed and tested. In Woodworth, the Stutsman Rural Water pipe will connect to the existing city water distribution system at the old water plant.

The project involves 270 miles of pipe extending to Woodworth on the west and east as far as Sutton and the Spiritwood area. The project is entirely north of Interstate 94 in Stutsman, Griggs and Foster counties. When complete, about 270 rural residences will be connected to the pipeline.

"We had hoped to do a larger project but the bids came in high," Kaiser said. "We had seven bidders but all the bids were higher than our estimates because of all the construction out west."

The project was scaled down by about 50 miles and 65 households mostly in the Cleveland and Eldridge areas and in Bloom Township, Kaiser said.

Kaiser said the plan is to include those areas and the area south of Interstate 94 west of Jamestown in the next phase of the project.

"We have a request for funding for those projects for the 2013 to 2015 biennium," she said.

Stutsman Rural Water District currently operates about 1,100 miles of pipe and serves 1,300 households and the communities of Cleveland and Montpelier.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at knorman@jamestownsun.com

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