Water returns for North Prairie

North Prairie Rural Water District has announced the broken water line that lead to a loss of pressure for residents and businesses in portions of Ward and McHenry counties south and east of Minot now has been fixed and that they are building water pressure back up.

The pipe had broke in North Prairie’s water plant near Voltaire, which led to treated water overflowing and mixing with the abundant groundwater collecting from the melted snow causing a boil order to also be issued.

The boil order is expected to be in place until Wednesday or possibly longer, according to North Prairie Water District general manager Teresa Sundsbak. She said she has taken samples from the reservoirs and is having them tested. Once she gets the “all clear,” she will issue notification to customers and that it shouldn’t be a long process.

The problem began when an “elbow” broke in a clearwell, which is where the final, treated water is held, at the treatment plant near Voltaire. The water got too high and rose too high and allowed water, including snowmelt water, to reenter the clearwell.

“What happened then was we had to pump out our clearwell … 500,000 gallons went on the ground,” Sundsbak said. “Then I got a crew in from Swanberg Construction out of Valley City and repaired the elbow, then we fired the plant back up and then everything was running fine.”

Fine, that is, until the elbow broke again early Saturday morning and the whole process, including the dumping of water, had to begin again. The construction crew was brought back out and repaired the elbow a little differently and it finally held.

The woes didn’t end there, though, because Monday morning another line broke in the Eastside Estate area.

When that was fixed it was finally the end of North Prairie’s problems and things returned to normal.

If pressure is not back up for all customers yet that is because the district can’t release it all at once or that would be too much pressure.

The only area right now still needing water is … over by Douglas and city of Max,” she said Monday evening. “They should all have water shortly.”

Ward County townships covered by the order are Willis, Sundre, Newman, Rushville, Iota Flat, Sawyer, Brillian, Greely, New Prairie, Surrey Township (but not the city), and portions of Gasman.

McHenry County townships covered by the order are Norwich, North Prairie, Brown, Bjornson, Granville, Henderickson, Lebanon, Voltaire, Olivia, Lake Hester, Lebanon, Cottonwood Lake, Lake Hester, Odin, and Velva Township (but not the city).