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Dickinson depot to provide water for oil industry

A Southwest Water Authority depot that may reduce truck traffic in Dickinson is expected to be complete by June 1, though SWA has yet to strike a deal with the city, officials said during a meeting at the Elks Lodge in Dickinson Monday.

"We're moving forward regardless," said Mary Massad, SWA manager and CEO.

The approximate-$900,000 facility is east of Dickinson and will sell untreated water to oil companies for fracking, Massad said. Fracking is when water and chemicals are pumped underground to promote oil flow.

The charge for water is expected to be $18 per 1,000 gallons of water, she said.

"The industry needs it," Massad said. "We are working hard to meet the needs of water in Southwest North Dakota."

SWA wants to share cost and revenue of the facility with the city, but a decision has

yet to be made.

"We haven't ruled that out," City Administrator Shawn Kessel said after the meeting. "I think both sides are willing to ... share in the revenue and expenses, it's just a matter of how are we best going to serve our customers."

During the meeting, Massad said though SWA had wanted Dickinson to shut down its public water vendor on West Broadway when the SWA depot opened, that may not be desirable.

"I would think that if it creates a better relationship between Southwest Water and Dickinson we should let them operate that," said Bob Leingang, SWA board member.

Larry Stang, another SWA board member, said the city's public vendor generates a lot of truck traffic.

After the meeting, Kessel said traffic is a


The existing public water vendor allows anyone access to treated water, he said.

"You can literally go up there and use some coins if you just want a little bit of water," Kessel said. "The larger companies have an account set up here at City Hall and a card. The charges go to the card and then we bill them for service."

Massad said since it's located along old Highway 10, SWA's depot will help keep trucks out of Dickinson.

"Part of the reason for that location is we're looking for a spot where trucks could have adequate access," she said. "Trucks can go east and west and get around town. They can go just over the hill and north and they can avoid driving through Dickinson."