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Southwest Water Authority recognized for safe drinking water

Southwestern North Dakota is well known for many things, including cowboys, Teddy Roosevelt and water.

Water Authority Pic
The Southwest Water Authority has once again received a certificate for safe drinking water from the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (NDDEQ). SWA is one of five public water systems receiving this award in North Dakota. (M.C. Amick/The Dickinson Press)

Southwestern North Dakota is well known for many things, including cowboys, Teddy Roosevelt and water.

The Southwest Water Authority has once again received a certificate for safe drinking water from the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (NDDEQ). SWA is one of five public water systems receiving this award in North Dakota.

The SWA operates water systems including the Water Treatment Plants in Dickinson, Oliver-Mercer-North Dunn (OMND) Drinking Water Treatment Facility, Crown Butte, Junction Inn and Tower Hill pocket areas of Morton County.

All public water systems are required to abide by the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 to keep the water in optimal condition, something that the SWA have prided themselves in maintaining and surpassing annually.

A press release said the water authority has undergone various changes that have made compliance increasingly difficult, however they continue to meet the challenges head-on.

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“Our number one priority has always been and will always be quality water for southwest North Dakota,” Mary Massad, CEO and Southwest Water Authority manager, said. “I am very pleased to accept these Safe Drinking Water Act Certificates of Achievement on behalf of our Board of Director, dedicated staff and North Dakota State Water Commission.”

Executive Assistant Jen Murray said that Southwest Water Authority not only meets but exceeds the national standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Southwest North Dakota's water received high praises at the state and national level, being named the fifth best water in the nation and second best in the state in competitions in 2020.

The Southwest Water Authority (SWA) placed second in the state at the North Dakota Rural Water Systems Association’s water taste contest in Fargo on Feb 20, 2020, where judges rated the waters on each attribute including appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel and aftertaste.

“Water is essential to the well-being of the residents we serve and to our economy. They are the reasons the Southwest Pipeline Project (SWPP) and SWA exist,” Larry Bares, SWA board of directors chairperson, said.

The water authority continues their use of advanced filtration technology, such as ultrafiltration which involves a membrane that filters out viruses and cysts such as Giardia ; advanced oxidation, a process by which emerging contaminants such as industrial chemicals and so on. Also, chemicals such as chloramines are added to keep water consistently disinfected.

Southwest Water Authority recently constructed two new reservoirs, which Massad said increased water storage capacity by 1.75 million gallons.

As published in a previous article , the City of Taylor may join forces with Southwest Water Authority via a suspended holding tank or ‘water tower’ designed by SWWA to hold 300,000 gallons. However, if the city council approves the project, the tanks will need to be expanded by 10-15% according to Engineer Jeremy Wood. More information regarding the Taylor water tower will be disclosed at the commission’s April 12 meeting, beginning at 6:00 p.m. with a special meeting soon after at 7:30 p.m.

Related Topics: DICKINSON
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