New Water Treatment Center Goes Online | VideoJessica Roose | 6/19/2012
"I used to drink Missouri River water growing up as a child and took our pails. We lived in the river bottom and we took our pails down there and hauled it to our home, and that was our drinking water."
Things have come a long way since then. Last week it got even better when the new water treatment center came online.
"Not having to worry about contamination, not having to worry about a lack of water, and so this is truly a dream come true for our people here on Standing Rock," Young said.
About 160,000 gallons of water are taken from Lake Oahe each day. Once the water gets to the new treatment plant, they can filter about 500 gallons a minute.
"Our storage tank, once that`s complete and the rest of the pipes in the ground in McLaughlin, Bear Soldier, Little Eagle, then we can increase our flow to 1,500 gallons a minute, and we could meet their usage that they need," said Water Treatment Supervisor Darrell Bullhead.
The plant is providing water for Kenel and Wakpala. The goal is to reach the rest of the reservation and surrounding communities in the next couple of years.
The plant cost more than $17 million and was a joint effort between the reservation, the Dakotas and the federal government. Much of the funding from the project was provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"It really jump started the project. I mean, to get that much money at one time is really what you need to do an effective job of constructing a facility of this size. So that was really the key," said Bureau of Reclamation Area Manager Richard Long.
Construction on the plant began in 2010.