Posted 6/10/14 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
To meet the water needs of the new residential and commercial subdivisions going up in every direction of Watford City, the city of Watford City is in the process of constructing two one million gallon water towers that will cost $10 million.
“Right now, one of the new water towers is being constructed north of the Fox Hills Golf Course,” states Justin Smith, Watford City Public Works director. “The second one million gallon water tower will be built next to our existing water tanks on the west side of town.”
According to Smith, the two new water towers will double the city’s existing two million gallon water capacity.
“We’re not running out of water yet,” states Smith. “But we will need more water in storage as the new developments come online, and the immediate need is to meet the fire suppression requirements in those developments.”
As the new water towers come online, Smith says that the city will be divided into three service zones.
“The older portion of Watford City will be served by the existing water tanks, while the new water tower near the Fox Hills Golf Course will serve the developments at Hunter’s Run, The Crossings at Watford City and at Fox Hills,” states Smith. “The new water tower on the west side of town will serve city residents west of Second Street.”
Both of the new water towers, according to Smith, will be in excess of 100 feet tall, and with that height, all city residents will see improved water pressure.
“Water pressure has always been a problem for those residents who live in the vicinity of the existing water tanks,” states Smith. “By shifting those homes to the new, higher water tower, water pressure will no longer be a problem.
According to Smith, the city is currently using between 400,000 to 500,000 gallons of water a day, but that usage greatly increases during the summer months.
“Once people start watering their lawns, we will see a spike in usage,” says Smith. “During the summer, depending on weather conditions, we can see water usage jump to anywhere from 800,000 to 900,000 gallons a day.”
Once the two new water towers are completed, Smith says that the four million gallon capacity will be able to handle Watford City’s projected population of between 12,000 to 15,000 people.
According to Smith, the water tower near the Fox Hills Golf Course is expected to be completed by this October, while the west water tower will be completed in August of 2015.
City To Chip Seal Streets
Beginning this August, the city will begin a $1 million chip seal project of many of the streets in Watford City.
According to Smith, the project will include all of the city’s streets, except those that will be undergoing construction in the next five years.
“We haven’t done a major chip seal of city streets since 2001,” states Smith. “Chip sealing should be done every five to seven years to help preserve the streets. And we are long overdue for this type of work.”
But according to Smith, some of the city’s streets that need to be chip sealed the worse, won’t be part of the bid package because of utility work that needs to be done.
“Main Street north to the hospital is in very bad shape,” states Smith. “And it won’t be part of the chip seal work because it needs to be reconstructed first and new underground utilities have to be laid. We don’t want to chip seal that stretch of road now, only to tear it up later.”
Paving To Begin On 17th Ave. NE
One of the city’s new major east-west arterial roadways, 17th Ave. NE, will go from a rutted dirt road to a paved city street this summer.
According to Smith, as part of the N.D. Highway 23 Bypass project on the east side of Watford City, the State of North Dakota has provided the city with $10 million to pave 17th Ave. NE from N.D. Highway 1806 to County Road 36.
“During the reconstruction of Highway 23 into Watford City, 17th Ave. will serve as an alternative route into the city,” states Smith. “That is why the North Dakota Dept. of Transportation is providing us with the $10 million to bring this road up to city standards.”
According to Smith, the two mile street project, which will begin in early July and is expected to be completed next spring, will cost $14 million.
“We have a lot of work to do before the paving can begin,” states Smith. “We have to acquire land and improve drainage along the route. Whether or not it can be paved before this fall will depend on the weather.”