Southwest Pipeline Project continues

Construction continues toward the finish line for the south Fryburg pocket of the Southwest Pipeline Project by the Southwest Water Authority as the pipeline is 85 percent installed.

Construction continues toward the finish line for the south Fryburg pocket of the Southwest Pipeline Project by the Southwest Water Authority as the pipeline is 85 percent installed.

"We're on schedule," Assistant SWA Manager/CEO Mary Massad said. "We have 21 customers turned over out of 81. The rest is under construction. We need a booster for part of the area which will be delivered by the end of November."

At the authority's board of directors meeting Monday, Oct. 1, Massad and others reported on current construction and pipeline development in the region.

The authority has been busy canvassing Oliver and Mercer counties and northern Dunn County for connection to the pipeline and has met with some success. Residents of Center, Stanton and Hazen held special elections and ultimately approved connecting to the pipeline, while city officials for Beulah and Killdeer decided not to connect.

"Throughout the month of September, we went to every city council meeting in those areas," Massad said. "Beulah isn't pursuing the Southwest Pipeline because, from my understanding, they feel they have a good source of water, which comes mostly from wells, and they have their own treatment plant."


The city of Beulah also isn't interested because it has adequate supplies and doesn't see a need to be hooked up to the pipeline, she added.

"They have a lot of unbilled water for parks and baseball fields," Massad said. "They've done a lot with the treatment plant and will see more upgrades to do in the future which needs to be done whether we make it there or not."

The authority purchases water from Beulah to get water to the city of Zap, she added.

"When we do build up in that area we will be able to provide service to Zap," Massad said.

Massad is unsure about the reasons behind Killdeer's decision not to pursue the option, but she has talked with a few residents in town who have inquired about it.

City residents shot down the project in 2003 with a vote of 151-33.

The city has its own aquifer with a water treatment plant.

Killdeer is the only city in Dunn County without services from the pipeline, as Halliday, Dodge and Dunn Center are connected.


Public meetings for rural customers in north Dunn County were held Sept. 19 and Oct. 3.

Anyone who wants to connect now must pay a $750 connecting fee.

"There were some local people wanting to do something," Massad said. "We had 22 people show up in September and only a handful last week."

The majority who came were from rural areas, she added.

The authority also is pursuing a pocket around Grassy Butte to include rural areas and the city of Grassy Butte. The project is being funded through the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District and the State Water Commission.

The authority is still working on details like ownership, Massad said.

"We're in the process of including that area in a project for construction," she added. "It would be more cost effective to build as one. There had been 52 contracts with residents in the area and now there are 84 sign ups."

The authority would provide the system while working with McKenzie County.


"It would be rural customers with individual hook ups instead of one (big one) for a city," Massad said. "I believe they are on well water for the most part now."

If a city is interested in connecting to the pipeline, it is charged a one-time membership fee of $0.50 per capita, based on the 2000 census.

The next step is to select the service and flow methods, which determine water rates for the municipality.

The authority has seen most cities with the pipeline add $1 to $2 per 1,000 gallons to the bulk service water rate for the pipeline. Cost savings for eliminating water softeners, fewer repairs or replacing water fixtures are not included.

The deadline for rural areas to sign up in the counties recently canvassed is Nov. 30.

What To Read Next
Get Local