MANDAN, N.D. - It's been more than 60 years since the water intake facility was built along the Missouri River in Mandan. Now, it's time for an upgrade.
When the facility was built in the 1950s, it was in a good spot to collect surface water based on where the channel was flowing. But now, the channel has changed from the west to the east side of the river. And that's causing problems when gathering water for the city of Mandan, the county and for the refinery in town.
This building has seen better days. The pumps and infrastructure used to collect water from the river just below it are original to the 1950s. The main problem though is getting a constant flow of water without a huge build-up of debris and sand.
“Over time we've actually had to have backhoes and trucks, dump trucks that have been in the water itself and we've been having to clean out a channel so we make sure we have a good source of drinking water,” City Administrator Jim Neubauer said.
Neubauer says divers also have to go into the water to clear screens that are full of sand. Plans are now in place to build a new intake facility with new pumps about two miles down river, where leaders say the Missouri is deepest and the channel is most consistent. Two miles of pipe will also be built to move the water back to the treatment plant.
“This has been a multiyear process to get to this point and we look to see construction real soon,” Neubauer said.
The whole project is expected to cost around $20 million. The state water commission has given Mandan a little over $12 million for the project. The city and Marathon Refinery which also gets its water from the facility, will split the rest of the $8 million price tag.
Neubauer says they're hoping to put bids out for the project this fall, and construction is expected to take about two years.