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City of Minot repairing water wells

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:15 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – The Minot water system supplies water to more than 60,000 households across the region. So when several wells failed at once this past week, the City of Minot faced a major problem.

On Friday, workers were able to fix one of the wells, and on Tuesday morning crews were fixing another, trying to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Your News Leader visited one of the sites, which workers explained should be up and running by the end of the day.

Water usage in the month of June typically goes up to nine million gallons a day, but this year it topped 11 million, leading to what public works officials called “catastrophic failure” for parts of the Minot Water system.

“We have cut way back. We usually water a lot, keep everything nice and green, but we have done our part and have cut back,” said Jack Harasyn, a Minot resident.

The city imposed mandatory water restrictions, however, that may not be the case for too much longer as crews have been working on fixing the issues this week, including one of the wells that has been out since March.

“All the parts and pieces are here. The well has been lined now to repair the holes or cover the holes. Now today the pump and motor and all the column pipes are going in. This well should be in production later today,” said Jason Sorenson, Assistant Public Works Director.

While the well has been in need of repair for several months, the additional well failures pushed the system to the brink.

“Last week we were doing fine. Then we had the really hot temperatures, we tried to turn on one of our wells, and a well that just worked three days earlier did not work on Tuesday,” said Sorenson.

The water system issues are being repaired throughout the week, but the public is still taking caution.

“With water, yes, I am very concerned about it,” said Tricia Rothmund, another Minot resident.

Sorenson explained that residents should be able to get back to their usual water usage in the coming days.

“We are hoping to start lifting restrictions by the end of the week. I think that is what we are shooting for,” said Sorenson.

While the repairs were unexpected, the water system budget does take into account emergency situations.

The new pumps will be able to handle up to 15 million gallons of water a day, but Sorenson does recommend taking it easy this year on the water due to the current drought conditions.

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