State legislators are considering funding to allow another expansion of the Williston Water Treatment Plant.
Money for the project would be part of the 40-million dollars that the Western Area Water Supply Authority is expected to receive from the state in the coming biennium.
The water plant west of Williston was upgraded in recent years to treat 21 million gallons of water per day.
The new expansion would push that to 35 million gallons.
The higher capacity will help serve customers that are being added to WAWS every year.
Jim Olson reports on one area that has just been added to the WAWS system.
The dishwasher at Tobacco Gardens Cafe gets a workout every day.
(Peggy Hellandsaas, Tobacco Gardens Resort & Marina) “This runs about 100 times a day – at least at a minimum.”
And that’s one big reason Peggy Hellandsaas is excited for the new supply of water to fuel her cafe’s kitchen.
(Peggy Hellandsaas, Tobacco Gardens Resort & Marina) “It will mean that our appliances won’t get destroyed by that hard water film.”
The restaurant and the homes and lots here on the south shore of Lake Sakakawea are being connected to the local rural water system, thanks to the Western Area Water Supply Project.
(Weston McGruder, WAWS Project Engineer) “Their water was quite poor I know they had to soften it quite a bit.”
Weston McGruder is the engineer in charge of WAWS work. He showed me on the project’s map where even more hookups are happening soon.
(Weston McGruder, WAWS Project Engineer) “To finish up this year we’ve got White Earth Bay – about 40 users in there we’re going to work to finish up. We’ve got McKenzie County Spring Creek area. This east White Earth area near Stanley – that will be going this year as well.”
But it’s not just the hookups to relatively small population areas happening this year.
(Weston McGruder, WAWS Project Engineer) “This year we’ve got quite a few – a bit of everything. Five or six projects – from the small distribution lines to rural residents to big transmission improvements in McKenzie County. 2 million gallon water storage tank going up by Arnegard that will serve Arnegard, Watford City, and the area.”
WAWS reports close to 60,000 now get water from WAWS. And there are still many construction seasons to go before the mission of providing quality water to the northwest quarter of the state is met.
(Weston McGruder, WAWS Project Engineer) “I would say there’s a good ten years of some major projects left.”
That will include more big projects like another expansion of the Williston water plant, and lots of little success stories – like Tobacco Gardens.
(Peggy Hellandsaas, Tobacco Gardens Resort & Marina) “And I appreciate that very much…”
At Tobacco Gardens, Jim Olson, KX News.
The WAWS project is funded through appropriations from the state, through sales of water to the oil industry, and through user fees.