October 25, 2018

Finding a way

City Council deals with challenges
By Jerry W. Kram
The growth of New Town since the start of the Bakken Boom has been welcomed by many people, but growth has brought challenges for the city as it tries to cope with the fallout of more people.
One of those challenges has been providing enough water now and in the future so New Town residents can have clean, safe drinking water whenever they open their taps. Last year, the city completed an expansion of the city water plant in anticipation of another couple of decades of growth. At last week’s city council meeting the city council members learned that more water comes with more expenses.
The New Town water system uses lime to soften water before it goes into the city distribution system. The spent lime accumulates in ponds near the water plant where it can be dewatered, dried and then taken to the city’s inert landfill.
With the higher water production, all of the city’s five lime ponds are full of water. The city used to be able to cope with lime disposal without discharging any water, so the city did not have to have a water permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. In the future, the ponds will need to be drained to dry out the lime, so the city recently applied for and received the proper permit. That will allow the city to move water into one of the ponds so the other ponds can dry ou

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