Williston, N.D. (PRWEB) May 08, 2013
Just in time for National Drinking Water Week (May 5-11), North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple signed House Bill (HB) 1020, the State Water Commission budget that will fund important water projects across the state. The bill includes a $40 million emergency clause for the Western Area Water Supply Project (WAWSP). More than half of that funding will go towards improving and expanding the Williston Regional Water Treatment Plant (WTP), which is critical to the WAWSP’s progress. The WAWSP is a public drinking water project that is projected to serve 100,000 people in all or parts of Burke, Divide, McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams Counties within the next 20 years. HB 1020 also includes an additional $79 million for WAWSA to expand its pipeline system, to serve the area’s growing population, as well as rural residents.
“We thank Governor Dalrymple and the Legislature for approving WAWSA’s funding requests,” says Jaret Wirtz, the Western Area Water Supply Authority (WAWSA) Executive Director. “The expansion of the Williston Regional Water Treatment Plant is absolutely crucial to the project’s success. We’re pleased that funding is in place to continue the progress on this amazing drinking water project.”
The Williston Regional WTP draws water from the Missouri River, treats it, and then sends it through miles of pipeline to Williston residents and regional WAWSA customers. So far, WAWSA water from the Williston Regional WTP is being delivered to Watford City residents who have been very pleased with the high quality of the water. Later this month, the R&T System which serves Ray, Tioga, and Stanley with extended pipelines to Wildrose and Crosby, will begin augmenting its water supply with service from the Williston Regional WTP.
Currently the WTP is under construction to increase its capacity of 10 million gallons per day (MGD) to 14 MGD with funding that was previously provided to WAWSA. This summer, an additional WTP upgrade will begin with the goal of increasing the capacity from 14 MGD to 21 MGD to meet the need for the near-term population projections within the WAWSA service territory. “The City of Williston is permitted to use 36 million gallons a day, so we have a lot of capacity to utilize, but we need to expand our plant capacity to do that,” explains Monte Meiers, the Williston Director of Public Works/Engineering. “Last year, we experienced close to our maximum day usage with the hot temperatures and drier conditions.” The WTP expansion to 21 MGD is expected to be completed by 2015.
There is an emergency clause on the $40 million appropriation so the money can be accessed immediately. The $14 million of emergency funding that is not going towards the WTP expansion will fund the construction of the Williston bypass transmission line later this summer. Seven miles of 36 and 30 inch pipe will run from the Williston Regional WTP along the west side of Williston, to the five million gallon Northwest Williston Reservoir. A new pump station and reservoir will also be built to benefit the rural areas west of Williston.