Monday, December 06, 2004

DEVILS LAKE: Threat on tap -- Grand Forks Herald | 12/05/2004 |

PipeLine Problem is also a big problem, it have to attend to it immediately...

DEVILS LAKE: Threat on tap

Underground and under water, aging pipeline looms as major city worry By Ryan Bakken Herald Staff Writer

DEVILS LAKE - The City of Devils Lake has a water problem.

No, not that water problem. Another water problem. A bigger water problem.

"We've added 3 feet to our dike system this fall, and the state outlet will start taking water off the lake next year, so we've done what we can to protect us from the flooding lake," Devils Lake Mayor Fred Bott said.

"The issue of a new water supply is a bigger issue."

The city's drinking water source is an aquifer near Warwick, N.D., 18 miles southeast. Six miles of the 18-mile underground pipeline is under the flooding lake, some of it up to 40 feet below the water surface.

So, fixing a potential pipeline break would be expensive and time consuming. It also would mean a dramatic change in the water-use habits of residents.

"Not being able to readily repair any problems puts us in a precarious situation," said Mike Grafsgaard, Devils Lake city engineer.

But the water uncertainties don't end there. The drinking water's arsenic level is too high.

If the city receives an expected extension to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act, it has until 2009 to find a remedy.

But a remedy will cost $13 million to $18 million, and a funding source is uncertain. Even if everything runs according to plan, the work wouldn't be completed until mid-2008.

Until then, city residents will keep their fingers crossed about the underground and underwater pipe.

"That's another clock that is ticking," Bott said.

Aging pipeline

Devils Lake's pipeline to the Warwick Aquifer is 40 years old. It hasn't suffered any leaks yet, but the threat is great. Read More...
Grand Forks Herald | 12/05/2004 | DEVILS LAKE: Threat on tap

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