Water Delivered to the City of Plentywood - August 2015
August 5, 2015 marked the day that water was delivered to the City of Plentywood. Plentywood is the largest community to date to receive water from Dry Prairie with an estimated average water use of 10,000,000 gallons/month. As part of the Medicine Lake to Plentywood Pipeline Project, 65 rural customers were connected to the regional water system. Also completed was construction of two 300,000 gallon reservoirs just east of Plentywood for additional water storage capacity to serve the area. Representatives from Dry Prairie and the City of Plentywood gathered to commemorate the turning of the valve to allow the delivery of Regional Water to Plentywood. Dry Prairie is very pleased to be able to bring water to the City of Plentywood.

Water Service Agreement is Signed - February 2015
The three-party Water Service Agreement between the United States Government, the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reeservation, and Dry Prairie Rural Water was signed on February 24, 2015. This historic agreement will allow the delivery of water from the Regional Water Treatment Plant located near Wolf Point to it's off-reservation partner Dry Prairie.

During July 2015, water was made available to Dry Prairie by the Assiniboine Sioux Regional Water System (ASRWS). The first delivery of water off the Reservation was made to a meter vault located near Highway 2 on the eastern boundary.  Dry Prairie was then able to begin delivery of regional water to its east side service area, which included service to over 700 rural customers and the communities of Ft. Kipp, McCabe, Bainville, Froid, Medicine Lake, Homestead, Dagmar and Antelope. Each of the communities and all of the rural services were slowly converted to the new water source over a two week period. The town of Culbertson has supplied water since 2006 on a temporary basis for the Dry Prairie Project while the Regional Plant was being constructed.  Dry Prairie is very appreciative for all the years that the Town of Culbertson has provided high quality water to the constantly growing Dry Prairie service area.

Dr. Caleb Shields

Dedication Ceremony for Regional Water Treatment Plant - Fall 2012
What an incredible milestone! August 14, 2012 marked the most significant achievement to date for the Ft Peck/Dry Prairie Regional Water System, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Wambdi Wahachanka Water Treatment Plant (WTP). The event commemorates the initial delivery of high quality water, through a Montana regional water system. The City of Poplar is now connected to the WTP and witnessing an improved water quality throughout their distribution system.

About 150 people attended the event including speakers Cathy Kirkpatrick of Sen. Baucus’ office, Penny Zimmerman of Sen. Tester’s office and Mike Waite of Representative Rehberg’s staff. Others speaking included Ft Peck Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure, Caleb Shields, Project Manager Tom Escarcega, Poplar Mayor Greg Norgaard, Commissioner Gary MacDonald, John Soucy from the Bureau of Reclamation, Del Laverdure and John Tubbs from the Dept. of Interior, Anna Miller with the MT DNRC, and Chairman Rick Knick of Dry Prairie Rural Water.

The WTP was named in honor of Dr. Caleb Shields whose Indian name, Wambdi  Wahachanka, means Eagle Shield. Dr. Shields has worked many years to improve the quality of life for residents of the Ft Peck Reservation and surrounding area, serving in several capacities including Tribal Council Member, Council Chairman and Tribal Historian. While Chairman, Dr. Shields was instrumental in development of the water system by meeting with Congressional leaders in the Water and Power Subcommittee, along with  Senators Baucus and Burns, to chart the path to Federal Authorization of the Ft Peck/Dry Prairie Regional Water System.

The WTP is supplied by an intake facility on the Missouri River near the Highway 13 Bridge. The intake draws raw water from the river and pumps it to the WTP located along Highway 2 about 5 miles east of Wolf Point. The plant is able to treat over 13 million gallons per day, supplying drinking water to an 8,000 sq. mile area of N.E. Montana.
The treatment plant utilizes the ACTIFLO process, within a conventional plant. ACTIFLO is a high rate, compact process using micro sand to facilitate settlement and filtration. Advantages include the flexibility to treat highly fluctuating levels of raw water turbidity, reduced chemical consumption, and reliability. The plant was designed to add ultraviolet light disinfection and microfiltration if necessary to remove cryptosporidium and unknown contaminants that may be regulated in the future.

Attendees at the celebration expressed amazement at such an impressive, state of the art facility.

Construction of the Big Muddy to Culbertson Mainline - Fall 2012
Work began in September on 5 miles of 18 inch diameter pipeline that will deliver water from the regional water treatment plant, near Wolf Point, to Dry Prairie’s service area near Culbertson. The Big Muddy Creek to Culbertson Project is being constructed by Niebur Development Corp. of Colorado Springs, CO.  The construction contract period runs through June 2013, but will likely be completed prior to that date.

A corresponding mainline is being constructed from Poplar to the Big Muddy Creek by Apollo, Inc. a contractor from the State of Washington. It is anticipated that construction will be completed in 2013. The Poplar to the Big Muddy pipeline will then be connected to Dry Prairie’s 18 inch mainline to allow water delivery to Dry Prairie’s service area.

Mayor Norgaard and Matthew James.

The City of Poplar is First - Fall 2012
August 20th, 2012 was a remarkable day! It marked the first day that the first city in Montana was supplied by the first regional water system in the State. Water from the new treatment plant (WTP) began to flow into the Poplar water distribution system as Mayor Greg Norgaard and Certified Water Operator Matthew James opened the main valve that connects the City to the regional system. Water levels within the Poplar water tanks are being monitored and maintained at the WTP using regional water system pumps. Poplar’s water distribution system remains unchanged, including the mains, customer services, hydrants and storage tanks

Chris and Amy Ator

East Medicine Lake Customers Begin Receiving Water - Fall 2012
Chris and Amy Ator are appreciative of receiving Dry Prairie water that now supplies their residence east of Medicine Lake.  “It’s awesome”, stated Amy, “our well water was full of iron which in turn covered our appliances in rust. We look forward to clean appliances and wearing white clothes.” The Ators are just one of over 100 rural households to be connected within the East Medicine Lake Phase I Project (EMLPI), which extends north and east from the Town of Medicine to the North Dakota Border. The Project consists of a pump station near Medicine Lake and a 200,000 gallon water storage tank about 6 miles east of the Antelope.

Dry Prairie Headquarters Moves to New Operation & Maintenance Facility - Summer 2010
June 29, 2010 was an exciting day for Dry Prairie Employees as they made the long awaited move into the new Operation and Maintenance Facility located just North of Culbertson on Highway 16. With the increasing number of construction projects and new customers being connected, the old space located downtown Culbertson, was no longer adequate. A need for more office space, filing room, and inventory & parts storage was met by the building of the new facility. Our mailing address and phone numbers remain the same, and as always, if you have an after-hours emergency call the Dry Prairie Office and you will receive recorded instructions for emergency assistance.

Bill Whitehead, A.T. Stafne, and Caleb Shields

Fort Kipp Project Begins Connecting Rural Users - Summer 2010
Macon Construction completed the mainline on the Culbertson to Ft Kipp Project in January of 2010. Mainline installation allowed water to be supplied to the 40 households of Ft Kipp on January 12th, 2010. Tribal dignitaries were on hand to open the valve supplying the community’s water tank. Well water that the community used was extremely poor.

When Eric Redbull was asked about the quality of the new water he gave a hardy “thumbs up” gesture and stated that they no longer need to buy bottled water or haul from a small community reverse osmosis system.

Dry Prairie Supplies Water to Nashua - Summer 2010
On the morning of May 25, 2010, an enthusiastic crowd gathered on the west edge of Nashua and witnessed Mayor Pat Hallett turn a valve that allowed water from Dry Prairie’s system to shoot 80 feet into the air through a fire nozzle. To the cheers of those gathering, she then broke a bottle of champagne over a newly installed hydrant near Dry Prairie’s pipeline connection to the Town. The new water began to flow into Nashua’s distribution system replacing the Town’s well water. The fanfare marked the first delivery of water to Valley County through Dry Prairie’s 
regional system.

Regional Water Treatment Plant - Phase II Goes to Bid - April 2009
The ASRWSS is presently advertising for bids on Phase II of the Water Treatment Plant (WTP). Phase II – the final phase - will be a $28 million construction activity that consists of the main treatment components and a building to house these components. Phase I is nearing completion and consists of the Clearwell Basin and the Backwash Water Recovery structure. The cost of Phase I was about $13 million.

Phase I, and Phase II, along with the already completed Intake, sludge drying basins and most of the 30” diameter raw water pipeline from the Missouri River make up the source and supply facilities of the Regional System.
The plant will use a conventional treatment system. This will allow for greater reliability to match increased turbidities of the spring flows on the Missouri River. The completed plant will be able to produce over 13 million gallons of water per day, treated to meet all federal drinking water standards, and equipped to add systems for meeting future standards as they arise. When the WTP is completed in June 2011 the focus of construction will shift to constructing main and branch waterlines to distribute the water to towns and rural home sites.

Dry Prairie Preconstruction Activities Ramp Up in Valley County - April 2009
The recently signed Water Buy Sell Agreement between Dry Prairie and MARCO allows a temporary water source to supply the Phase I Project. “It is with great appreciation that we say thank you to MARCO for allowing the use of their water system to supply our project in Valley County,” stated Marvin Tarum, Dry Prairie Board Chairman from the Opheim area.

Bid advertisements for the project are anticipated to begin in May 2009 with a construction start in late June. The project should be completed during 2009. Presently the Bureau of Reclamation and MT Department of Environmental Quality are reviewing the Valley County Plans and Specifications to ensure adherence to quality design and construction standards.

Dry Prairie Staff is presently acquiring about 330 easements for the routing of 100 miles of pipeline included in the Phase I Project. Nearly two thirds of those easements have been received. It is not too late to sign up for water service if you are a landowner in the areas listed on the map. Simply call the Dry Prairie offices for additional information about being a customer.

Working Together...To Bring Water to Fort Kipp- March 2008
The MR&I Project and Dry Prairie are working together on a plan to supply water to Fort Kipp in 2009. The Culbertson water system would supply the water through Dry Prairie’s system on an interim basis.  A pipeline would be built from Culbertson to Fort Kipp that will supply water to the community along with about 30 rural homes near the pipeline route. Fort Kipp’s water is of very poor quality. “We are encouraged that by working together we can address the water needs of Fort Kipp in the near future” stated Tom Escarcega, MR&I Director. When the MR&I Water Treatment Plant is operational and the pipelines are built, the community of Fort Kipp will begin receiving water from the MR&I source instead of Dry Prairie.

Dry Prairie Rural Water Authority Progress - March 2008
Dry Prairie has installed about 250 miles of water pipeline, 2 booster pump stations and a water storage reservoir.  The system is presently providing drinking water to 240 farms and ranches and the Towns of Froid, Medicine Lake, and Bainville.  Dry Prairie purchases water from the Town of Culbertson to supply the users.  The Culbertson water is being purchased on a temporary basis until the Tribal MR&I system is able to deliver water through its system to Dry Prairie.  At that time, Dry Prairie will purchase water instead from the MR&I System.

Water Service to Fort Union Trading Post - January 2008
Agri Industries of Williston was the successful bidder to construct 3,600 feet of water pipeline for the National Park Service, providing water service at Fort Union. The Fort is located on the Montana/North Dakota border southeast of Bainville. The pipeline will connect to Dry Prairie meter pits that have already been installed on property adjacent to the Fort. Water will be supplied to the Fort headquarters, a shop, and two houses. Agri expects to complete the construction this fall. The Fort receives about 20,000 visitors per year. Other federal facilities served by Dry Prairie are the Medicine Lake Wildlife Refuge and the Froid Agricultural Research Station.

Two 500,000 Gallon Storage Reservoirs

"A" Branchline Nearing Completion - November 2006
Construction of the "A" Branchlines has connected the Town of Bainville and about 200 rural services to Dry Prairie's Mainline. Agri Industries, the pipeline contractor from Williston, ND has installed the last of the service lines and is engaged in final cleanup of the pipeline route. Final inspection will follow and final payment will be made when all completion items are accomplished. The contractor will supply the standard one year warranty on the system.

Engineering America, a Minnesota contractor has completed the two water storage tanks that supply the Mainline and the A-Branchline System. The insulated tanks hold 500,000 gallons each and contribute greatly to the system's reliability. Located 3.5 miles north of Culbertson, the tanks are strategically positioned on high ground at about 2,400 ft elevation. This height provides enough pressure to fill the water tanks in the Towns of Medicine Lake, Froid and Bainville, without using pumps.

One small booster station was installed near the Town of Bainville as part of the branchline system. This station adds pressure to the water and allows delivery to the higher elevations near the Montana/North Dakota State Line and to users directly south of Bainville.

Construction Begins on Phase Two – The “A” Branch Project - March 2006
It was a cold windy morning on March 9th, when the first construction activities began on Dry Prairie’s second phase of construction – the “A” Branchline Project. An Agri-Industries boring crew and equipment began the work of boring under the County Line Road north of Froid. Agri-Industries of Williston, North Dakota was awarded the $5.5 million construction contract on March 2nd, 2006. The contract includes 190 miles of pipeline ranging in size from 1.5” to 8” in diameter. When completed in November of 2006, the new lines will supply the Town of Bainville and 188 rural households in Sheridan and Roosevelt counties with treated drinking water.

Mainline Water Delivery Begins – October 2004
On October 27, 2004 Dry Prairie began its first delivery of drinking water to about 750 residents in the Froid and Medicine Lake area. The water is presently being supplied from the Missouri River through Culbertson's water treatment plant. After years of planning, the first segment of construction is now complete, marking a much anticipated milestone. Subsequent segments are presently being designed that will be attached to the recently completed mainline. This will allow more rural residents to be served by the system.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - August 2004
About 300 people attended a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in Medicine Lake on August 24, 2004. This event marked the completion about 30 miles of the 14" pipeline construction from Culbertson to Medicine Lake. Rick Knick, Dry Prairie Chairman was the Master of Ceremonies. Speakers included: Ray K. Eder, Fort Peck Tribal Chairman; Tim Hutslar, Mayor of Medicine Lake; Terry Peterson, Mayor of Froid; Jeff Wivholm, Chairman of the Sheridan County Conservation District; Congressman Denny Rehberg; Bud Clinch, Director of Montana DNRC; and Pinkie Evans-Curry, Friend of Dry Prairie. Representatives for Senator Max Baucus, The Montana Governor's Office, and the Bureau of Reclamation were also speakers for the event.

Groundbreaking Ceremony - August 2003

An estimated 250 people took part in the Dry Prairie Groundbreaking Ceremony of "Culbertson to Medicine lake Mainline" Project held on August 28th, 2003, near the Culbertson water treatment facilities. Speaking at the event included Senator Max Baucus, Representative Denny Rehberg, Pam Crisafulli who represented Senator Conrad Burns, Lt. Governor Karl Ohs, State Senator Linda Nelson, John Tubbs- DNRC, Jari Beek- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Tribal Chairman Arlyn Headdress, Roosevelt Co. Conservation District Chairman Buzz Mattlelin, Culbertson Mayor Gordon Oelkers, and Master of Ceremonies and Dry Prairie Chairman Rick Knick. Many spoke of the hard work and cooperative effort that had been required toward making the project a reality. After the Dry Prairie board and the dignitaries had used the "gold shovels" to turn the first spades of dirt, the event moved to the National Guard Armory for a meal and continued celebration.

Caleb Shields  at the Dedication Ceremony for the Water Treatment Plant