Dakota Prairie Reserve Partners with the City of Dickinson - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Dakota Prairie Reserve Partners with the City of Dickinson

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The need for a reliable water source almost delayed construction of the first oil refinery built in the U.S. in nearly forty years. But looks like things will stay on track at the Dakota Prairie Reserve thanks to a new partnership with the city of Dickinson.

An oil refinery is legally required to have a certain amount of water to charge its fire suppression and process system, as well as for emergencies. And after builders at the Dakota Prairie Refinery found out that the Southwest Water Pipeline wouldn't be enough, they decided to get creative with a new system that goes to and from Dickinson.

While workers are laying the foundation for the new Dakota Prairie Refinery, Dickinson city officials are laying the foundation for a new partnership with refinery builders.

"It really looks like a win/win for both the city, which has a beneficial use for something that would otherwise be wasted, and then us as a primary supply," says MDU Resources Vice President of Strategic Planning John Stumpf.

Last week the Dickinson City Commission approved two water pipelines that will flow to and from the refinery. One will bring waste water to the new Dickinson Waste Water Treatment Facility, while the other will bring the treated water back to the refinery to fuel its processes.

"That was one of our challenges, we did not have a very reliable source of water that wouldn't be controversial," says Stumpf.

Waste water from South Heart will also be included in the pipeline system.

"Having a consistent, twenty-four hour, seven day a week flow will help us with that South Heart flow as well," says Dickinson city administrator Shawn Kessel.

And the pipeline has some other potential benefits for Dickinson.

"It provides us with another development lane. Because we're going to have water lines in the ground, we are oversizing those lines anticipating other development that will happen along that corridor that will become the waste water treatment plant," says Kessel.

The agreement is good environmentally, too. It will keep reuse water from going back into the Heart River and provide an alternative water source for hydrofracking besides drinking water.

"It is one of those unique situations where really everybody benefits," says Stumpf.
The refinery will still use some water from the Southwest Water Pipeline, but only for emergencies. Workers are staking the area for pipelines this week. The entire project is on schedule to be finished by December 2014.

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