The City of Dickinson is investing roughly $1 million in a new pipeline to sell its reuse water to Meridian Energy Group's Davis Refinery in Belfield.
The city currently has a pipeline to direct reuse water from its waste water treatment plant to Tesoro's Dakota Prairie Plant.
The new pipeline will extend that connection north along 116th Avenue West to Highway 10, where it will meet a pipeline that will be constructed by Meridian.
At 200 gallons per minute, the city will earn roughly $400,000 each year selling reuse water to Meridian, Public Works Director Gary Zuroff said.
"They can exceed that," he said. "The cost of the line will pay for itself pretty quickly."
The city is currently securing easements for the project, with plans to prepare designs through winter and take it to bid next spring.
Dan Hedrington, Davis Refinery senior project manager, in a release from Meridian, applauded the agreement with the city.
"It may have taken some time to complete, but in return we have an environmentally sound contract that will benefit Meridian and the city as well," he wrote. "Processed wastewater from Dickinson, which is currently being discharged into the river, will be recycled, generating a new revenue opportunity for the city. This allows Meridian to reduce the environmental impact of their facilities and activities at the refinery."
The project is one the city has been considering for years, Zuroff said.
"Even if Meridian didn't take our water, I've been trying to get the water up to that intersection for either a fill station or energy companies to pull water from that area," he said.
Many opportunities exist for the city to sell its reuse water.
"Energy companies have pulled water from us for fracking," Zuroff said. "We've been looking for an area to get it up to that intersection and make it more accessible. That way, we have the capability to provide additional wastewater to the area east or north or west, also."
He believes the project is an exciting opportunity for both the refinery and the city.
"Anytime the city can benefit from the ability to treat our wastewater and provide it to area industry is a great," he said. "I've been working on this for over two years, and I'm excited we finally got the contract done, and hopefully the project will develop from there."
The city completed its water reclamation facility in 2014, with the intent of producing quality water that could be sold for reuse.
Dakota Prairie Plant, then owned by MDU Resources Group, was being built at the same time because of the availability of that reuse water.
"At that time, they only needed a four-inch pipeline," Zuroff said. "Negotiations with them and city decided to upsize the line so the city would have the opportunity to sell reuse water beyond the current refinery."
While the city was building a wastewater line from its facility to 116th Avenue, it was decided to also upsize that line and its capacity, not just for that refinery, but for future industrial uses in that area.
"The city was set to provide additional reuse water and accept wastewater for the current Davis Refinery," Zuroff said. "Because of the way the plant was designed and built, and the city's decision to upsize some of those lines, that's what got us to this point."