We Are Not Done, Because Quality Water Matters!

2020 Progress

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, construction during the summer of 2020 continued and included the Second Davis Buttes Reservoir and the Second Belfield Reservoir. Together these reservoirs will increase the Southwest Pipeline Project’s (SWPP) water storage capacity by 1.75 million gallons. Additional storage increases the capacity and redundancy for SWA to serve its customers and should help alleviate shortages during the peak water-usage season.

Preliminary design and easement acquisitions are ongoing for the Main Transmission Line Expansion from the Davis Buttes Reservoir, the Belfield Reservoir, and the New England Reservoir, then back to the Ray Christensen Pump Station in Dickinson. This expansion will further increase the SWPP’s water-distribution capacity. Also, construction continued on the supplemental intake at Renner Bay on Lake Sakakawea.

At the end of 2020, there were more than 56,000 residents of southwest North Dakota being served some of the best-tasting award-winning water because of the Southwest Pipeline Project (SWPP). Yet, there are hundreds of people on the every-growing list of people waiting to be connected to the SWPP. It is why SWA remains dedicated to its mission: Quality Water for Southwest North Dakota. We are not done – Because Quality Water is Essential!

2019 We Are Not Done! It just makes sense.

The Southwest Pipeline Project (SWPP) continues its mission of quality water for southwest North Dakota. The North Dakota State Water Commission (SWC) has been constructing a complex network of pipelines, pump stations, reservoirs and treatment facilities since 1986. More than 56,000 North Dakota residents receive quality water from the SWPP with service provided to more than 7,150 rural locations through over 5,262 miles of pipeline. Service is also available to three crew camps, two raw water depots, Red Trail Energy Ethanol Plant, 33 communities, 21 raw water customers, Missouri West Water System and Perkins County Rural Water System.

The SWPP continues construction on the supplemental intake at Renner Bay on Lake Sakakawea. The Southwest Water Treatment Plant (SWTP), a supplemental six-million gallon per day (MGD) water treatment plant located in Dickinson, is operational. Construction of the Residual Handling Facility (RHF) to process lime byproduct from the existing 12 MGD water treatment plant and the SWTP is also operational. Progress is being made on the raw-water main transmission pipeline. The Project is increasing its storage capacity with the additional Dickinson and Richardton raw water reservoirs. Upgrades at the Dodge and Richardton pump stations are underway.

Rural areas and communities currently served by the SWPP are basing their current and future growth on the availability of quality water. Addressing the waiting list, water treatment plant replacement and additional capacity for both raw and potable water are necessary. Growth in southwest North Dakota is able to be sustained with the continued growth and increased capacity of the Project.

Construction Continues in 2018

As we flow into 2018, those benefiting from the Southwest Pipeline Project – Southwest Water Authority’s customers – are paying about $12,000 per day back into the Resources Trust Fund. That represents over $57 million having been returned to the state for its investment into the Project. The past year was notable in that we completed the geographical extent of the Southwest Pipeline Project’s (SWPP) service area. The Oliver, Mercer and North Dunn Service Area was completed. However, we are far from being done. Now we must go back and take care of the hundreds of people, businesses and growing communities who are still unable to receive quality water. And this is why we are just getting started and again looking forward to another successful year of quality water for southwest North Dakota.

Last August, the North Dakota State Water Commission voted to authorize the award of Southwest Pipeline Project’s (SWPP) Residual Handling Facility Dickinson. The Facility is being built to safely handle any by-products required of water treatment. Construction began in mid-October and concrete for the east half of the shored first story slab was placed last March.

Nearing completion is the second raw water Dickinson Reservoir. The water-storage reservoir will hold up to 4.8 million gallons of raw (untreated) water and have 32 feet of height before it reaches overflow. The reservoir is topped with a metal dome and has concrete walls that are 30 inches thick which rest on top of a floor slab without the use of any rebar connections.

Construction of a second intake at Renner Bay is underway, and will be delivering raw water to the water treatment plants north of Zap.

Recognizing the need for quality water, the federal government is providing North Dakota with $29 million for water infrastructure. Of this funding, the SWPP will receive $2 million.

This and all of the funding for the SWPP is not a short-term investment by the state or by the people it serves, as it is for both today’s and tomorrow’s children. Without the Southwest Water Treatment Plant, current capacity would not be able to meet peak demands. Adding six million gallons a day will increase the number of people the Project can serve, but it doesn’t solve all the needs. As we are reaching capacity during peak demands and there are hundreds of people still waiting to be connected to quality water, we are not done. More pipelines need to be installed, which is why we must continue seeking funds to continue on our mission. It is this long-term outlook that keeps us growing and building to bring to southwest North Dakota what is essential . . . quality water.

Work Continues in 2017

The Southwest Pipeline Project (SWPP) continues to acquire more rural customers, some of whom signed on decades ago and continue to wait until funding allows the SWPP to come to their areas.

There is still a growing demand for quality water in southwest ND, despite the apparent slowdown of the local economy and the energy industry. Construction remains a hot topic for us. Construction began in January on the SWPP’s supplemental water treatment plant in Dickinson. Once finished, the treatment plant will add six million gallons of water per day (MGD) to the existing water treatment capacity to provide a total of 18 MGD. See pictures under News & Information here.

Since most of the current construction for the new treatment plant is underground, if you drive by the Finished Water Pump Station on Broadway Street in Dickinson, you will only see mounds of dirt. This supplemental water treatment plant is projected to be completed by the end of 2017.

We have also been busy with construction projects in Oliver, Mercer and North Dunn counties. Construction started in March on Contract 7-9G Halliday and Dunn Center Service Area and Contract 7-9E West Center Service Area.

One thing is for certain, we know quality water is our most precious resource and we remain privileged to provide this valuable resource to the people and businesses of southwest North Dakota.

Projects in 2015

The SWPP currently has 18 contracts under construction; which will permit SWA to provide quality water. Construction of a supplementary intake on Renner Bay, Lake Sakakawea will continue throughout the winter. Construction of this intake is quite extraordinary as crews work to build a 150- foot deep vertical caisson. Thirty of the forty-five rings of the caisson have been placed. Once the caisson is complete, more than 2,800 feet of 73.5 inch outside diameter (54-60 inch inside diameter) intake pipeline will be micro-tunneled under Lake Sakakawea. Completion of this intake will increase the overall capacity for the SWPP.

Construction of the main transmission line is nearing completion between the OMND Water Treatment Plant and the city of Killdeer and the Killdeer Mountain Elevated Tank. This line is the foundation which will enable the Project to construct the Dunn Center & Halliday Service Areas. It is also the line to which the city of Killdeer will be connected and for the SWPP to provide service in the Killdeer Mountain Pocket Area, the Grassy Butte Pocket Area and the North Fairfield Service Area.

Southwest Pipeline Project Map
Oliver-Mercer-North-Dunn Region Biennium Phase Map


Customers signed up in Mercer County will be receiving water from the SWPP by the end of summer, 2013. There are two rural contracts, 7-9C, Zap Phase I and and 7-9D, Zap Phase II. Construction will resume in Spring as weather allows.

More than 300 additional miles of pipeline for these two new service area contracts will soon deliver our quality water to more than 400 new customers in the coming months, and, by the end of summer (August 2013), we project to have a 300,000-gallon reservoir in place.

Please know we are working as quickly as possible to develop new service areas to meet growth and demand.
For questions on receiving rural water service, contact Bruce Koppinger, 1-888-425-0241.

Meeting the Challenge & Beyond

The Southwest Pipeline Project (SWPP) is North Dakota's largest multi-county regional rural water project. Today the SWPP brings quality water to over 58,000 people which includes 33 communities, more than 6300 rural locations, 26 contract customers, 23 raw-water customers, two rural water systems, 3 crew camps and 2 raw water depots. The Oliver, Mercer, North Dunn (OMND) Water Treatment Plant (WTP) now serves the communities of Center, Dodge, Dunn Center, Golden Valley, Halliday, Hazen, Killdeer, Stanton, Zap and the surrounding rural areas. Construction is now underway for the OMND counties.

The need for quality water in southwest North Dakota is greater than ever.  Given 1,000 rural customers continue waiting for water, southwest ND’s population is growing at an unprecedented rate, the raw-water needs of the energy industry, and it’s easy to see why the continued funding for the SWPP is so important to the economic development of ALL of ND. To date, SWPP has paid back to ND over $48 million.  For more information, contact us at Southwest Water Authority.