Rural water unit to expandA small part of a large-scale expansion to Stutsman Rural Water is scheduled for later this summer, according to Geneva Kaiser, system manager.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
A small part of a large-scale expansion to Stutsman Rural Water is scheduled for later this summer, according to Geneva Kaiser, system manager.
“The engineer is still working on the design,” Kaiser said. “But the project should be advertised for bids soon with construction to take place late this summer or fall.”
The project includes about 17 miles of new pipe and will serve at least 55 additional households with more still being added to the roster. The project is estimated at $1.2 million with about $400,000 funded by a State and Tribal Assistance Grant program through the Environmental Protection Agency and the rest financed through USDA Rural Development.
Kaiser said the project will include a couple of miles of pipe near Carrington that will supply water treated by the Carrington water treatment plant being constructed this summer to rural residents in the Pingree, N.D., area.
The rest of the project will start about 2 miles south of the Woodbury interchange of Interstate 94 and proceed north along the U.S. Highway 281 bypass and then continue farther north.
That portion of the project also includes service as a backup to the new Jamestown Regional Medical Center.
Water for the new services, and SRW’s existing service area, comes from a well field and water treatment plant south of Spiritwood. This is supplemented by water from the Carrington city water treatment plant in the northern part of the county and from a contract with the city of Jamestown that allows rural water to draw up to 200,000 gallons per day from up to two locations. Currently SRW is only using one of those locations. It pays the same water rate as residents of Jamestown plus a $3,000 annual connection fee.
“The contract with the city allows us to supplement when we have high usage,” Kaiser said. “We are utilizing it now because farmers are using a lot of water to fill sprayers.”
The need to draw water from the Jamestown system has put Stutsman Rural Water at odds with Jamestown Mayor Clarice Liechty.
“I’m opposed to selling water at the same rate city residents pay,” Liechty said. “If we can make some money from the process and if we have extra capacity it might be something we look at.”
But Liechty also sees another problem with furnishing water to services outside city limits.
“I have a sense we should not be selling water to areas close to the city because then there is no incentive for the people to be annexed into the city,” she said.
Kaiser disagrees with this concept.
“People who are planning to build outside of town check with us if rural water is available but often drill a well if it isn’t,” she said. “The people that want to live outside of town will do so if there is rural water or not.”
She also sees the water project as community building.
“These people who live outside Jamestown all come to town to shop and work,” she said. “The city of Carrington sees the value of working with the rural community. The more water they sell the quicker they get the treatment plant paid for.”
Kaiser said grant and financing agencies are also looking for the efficiency of shared water treatment plants when assessing projects.
Future planned expansion will probably include more water from municipal treatment plants.
“The overall expansion plan includes about 550 miles of pipe and would cost about $18 million,” Kaiser said. “This would take water to the Woodworth and Streeter areas and some smaller areas. The water for the Woodworth area would come from Carrington.”
The project would bring rural water to the 550 households who have paid a membership deposit and expressed interest in connecting when construction begins, Kaiser said.
The new expansion plan would increase the miles of pipe and the households served by SRW by about 50 percent. Currently rural water delivers about 100 million gallons of water per year to 1,226 households through 1,100 miles of pipe.
“We need the grant funds,” she said. “Grants of 50 to 75 percent are normal for these types of projects. It would be split into phases over 3 to 4 years after it starts but without the grant funds we can’t start.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at email@example.com