First Pump Station Up and Running on District Water Supply Project

(Gillette, Wyo.) Bennor Estates has been using City water in their subdivision for about a month now. Today the first control center and pump station for the regional water supply project was brought online, with a ribbon cutting and dedication that included Gillette Mayor Louise Carter-King. The neighborhood had its own water system, but high levels of radionuclides in it meant the EPA deemed their water unsafe to drink. "This will be the way in which we connect water districts to the City's regional system," explained project manager Levi Jensen. "Bennor happens to be the first water district that will receive water in this way." If you travel down Force Road you can see the ditch that has been dug on the district extension construction that is already underway. The Gillette Regional Water Supply Project has added a second parallel pipeline from groundwater sources in the Madison Formation, north of Keyhole Reservoir in Crook County, that travels over 50 miles in to Gillette, down Force Road, under I-90, and north past Cook Road. The project was brought online in 2011 with the capital facilities tax, after Gillette hit peak water usage in 2005, and it became clear that a second source of water would be needed for the city's population. Currently, we are under "Condition Yellow," which means large agencies like the City have to cut back their water usage 15% to help conservation. [image: 20160628_104303[1].jpg] *Pipeline ditch along Force Road* This second pipeline will significantly increase water supply when it's up and running, which is estimated to be May of 2017. Originally it was scheduled to be completed by December. "We're still very hopeful that we'll have it online by peak season next year," said City Communications Manager Geno Palazzari. Antelope Valley is having their system installed currently, along with six other districts. But that does not mean they'll be turned on just yet. In all, 42 districts may be receiving water from the new pipeline. Grant money covers 67% of the construction costs for this project. This first phase of the project has already been fully funded, and budget cuts will not affect the seven districts scheduled to come online next May. "We'll be doing these types of projects for at least the next five years, if not longer," Jensen said. "As long as districts want water and there's a need for it, we can obtain grant money from the state of Wyoming to do these projects." You can read more about the project at the City's website . #county17 #news