INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 16, 2012, 09:10 AM

Dalrymple: New Valley City water plant state's finest

VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) — State officials say a $21 million upgrade to Valley City's water treatment plant will make it more capable of handling the sulfate-laden water in the Sheyenne River.

VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) — State officials say a $21 million upgrade to Valley City's water treatment plant will make it more capable of handling the sulfate-laden water in the Sheyenne River.

Valley City draws part of its municipal water supply from the Sheyenne, which flows through southeastern North Dakota before turning north and joining the Red River near Fargo.

The river is being used to siphon excess water from Devils Lake, which has much higher sulfate levels. Sulfates occur naturally in water, but elevated levels can give the water a bitter taste and have a laxative effect on humans who drink it.

The Sheyenne River's normal sulfate levels range from 250 to 300 milligrams per liter of water. Devils Lake water can have sulfate levels greater than 600 milligrams per liter.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency says drinking water should have no more than 250 milligrams of sulfates per liter.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple, speaking Tuesday during a dedication of the water plant improvements, said the project gave Valley City the best water treatment facility in North Dakota and one of the best in the nation.

"The quality of the water that's going to come out of this plant is going to be second to none," Dalrymple said.

David Schelkoph, Valley City's city administrator, said the existing water treatment plant used lime in the treatment process, which did not remove sulfates. The new plant uses intense filtration and reverse osmosis to remove the sulfates, he said.

The project took 18 months to complete. It can produce as much as 4 million gallons of drinking water daily.

North Dakota's Water Commission provided more than $15 million in grants for the project, and the state Health Department provided $4.6 million in grants and low-interest loans.

Tags: