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Mandan Planning and Engineering Director Justin Froseth shows the present water intake near a pump house adjacent to the water plant on the Missouri River. A new water intake is planned for approximately 4,000 feet south of the water plant.

Mandan's planned new water intake system won't have a significant impact on the environment, a study by the North Dakota Division of Municipal Facilities shows.

The nearly $21 million intake on the Missouri River will replace one built in 1957, city Planning and Engineering Director Justin Froseth said. Companies will bid on the project in the next few weeks, with a bid opening set for Oct. 22. Completion is scheduled for midsummer 2021.

The Division of Municipal Facilities document, dated Sept. 13, states that the review process “did not indicate significant environmental impacts would result from the proposed action,” and that a preliminary decision has been made not to prepare an environmental impact statement, which requires a more thorough and time-consuming study.

The project is funded through State Water Commission grants totaling more than $12.5 million and a $4.1 million grant from the Marathon Mandan Refinery. The remaining cost will be paid by users through a monthly utility rate increase of $1.55 per month, which the City Commission included in its recently approved 2020 budget. Another increase of $1.25 will go into effect in 2021.

The city's existing intake is vulnerable to sedimentation, and city workers have had to remove sand from the facility almost annually since 2000, Froseth said. If the sediment isn’t removed, there’s a risk that water can’t be pulled in. The new plant will be built 4,000 feet downstream from the existing plant.

“The new location has a more narrow channel and is in a more stable part of the river,” Froseth said.

The plant will provide water to Mandan, Marathon Petroleum Co. and the Missouri West Water System in Morton County.

The project includes a new structure, new pumps, and two 4,000-foot pipelines to carry water upstream to the water treatment plant, which is located next to the existing intake.

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Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com

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