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Water projects: Rural Water construction expected to continue into 2014

An excavator moves dirt from a trench north of Jamestown. The equipment removed dirt that was above a Rural Water line for the installation of a joint to connect additional properties to the service. Keith Norman The Sun

Construction continues on three projects for Stutsman Rural Water District, according to Geneva Kaiser, manager of the Rural Water District. Despite good fall construction weather, all projects are expected to continue into the 2014 construction year.

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“We’re catching some good weather for fall work,” she said. “It is nice to go across farm fields without damaging crops.”

The three projects were designed to extend Rural Water lines to areas with limited supplies or poor quality supplies in northern and western Stutsman County. The projects bring water lines into the farmyards. The homeowners then connect to the water line to serve their homes and any outbuildings.

“Everybody that wants water has had a chance to sign up,” Kaiser said. “We have covered the whole county plus parts of other counties that are part of our district.”

Completion of the projects next year could mark the end of major expansions by Rural Water. The total costs of the current projects are $27.7 million.

Kaiser said small projects will continue in the future, adding customers to the system who have not connected earlier.

Crews worked this year on three phases of the expansion to the Rural Water infrastructure.

Phase 2, north of U.S. Interstate 94 with the exception of the Woodworth area, connected to about 250 locations this summer.

“There are a limited amount of local contractors to install the water lines into the home,” Kaiser said. “Some of those installations won’t get water into the home until later.”

Phase 2B, from Woodworth south to Medina, has about 40 installations nearing completion. Work on Phase 3, south of U.S. Interstate 94 in the Streeter area, was confined to work on water main lines.

Kaiser anticipates the bulk of the work on the three projects will be completed during the 2014 construction season. When completed, the three projects will connect an additional 600 families to Rural Water. Originally, the three projects were planned to add about 750 families to the system. They now have 850 homes or farms either connected or waiting for a connection.

“There will always be growth,” Kaiser said. “There are pockets where people will want to sign up in the future.”

Other projects are in the planning stages for 2014 including an expansion of Rural Water’s water treatment plant. The treatment plant has a current capacity of 400 gallons per minute.

“We’re looking at an upgrade to 2,000 gallons per minute or possibly more,” Kaiser said. “About 1,000 gallons per minute would go to the Great River Energy plant with the rest going to customers.”

Other projects planned for 2014 include a water tower near Titan Machinery and a water line connecting the Jamestown water system at Cavendish Farms to the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy plant at Spiritwood.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at