Near Sioux Center, Iowa — Construction continues on the water system that is to bring Missouri River aquifer water to a number of northwest Iowa communities.
The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System is celebrating its 30th year of incorporation and this month is celebrating its 20th anniversary of being authorized by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. Executive Director Troy Larson says that as they celebrate these important milestones, they are very pleased that construction is moving full speed ahead this summer.
Work recently started on three projects and is expected to begin on a fourth in September. Construction is also wrapping up on a fifth project. These five projects represent a combined $54.1 million in construction.
The three projects upon which work has recently begun are part of the transmission line that will ultimately provide water to Sioux Center, Hull, and Sheldon.
Carstensen Contracting of Dell Rapids, SD is nearing completion of 11.2 miles of 24-inch diameter pipe that started at Beresford and headed east. Construction began in the spring of 2019 on this $9.8 million project.
Carstensen is constructing 10 miles of 24-inch diameter pipe starting at Sioux Center and heading west. The substantial completion deadline is December 2020 for this $8.2 million project.
They plan to begin construction in September on 12.6 miles of 24-inch diameter pipe between Sioux Center and Beresford, which includes the Big Sioux River crossing. 7.6 miles of the project will be on the Iowa side and 5 miles on the South Dakota side. The substantial completion deadline is December 2021 for this $19 million project.
Workers are also working on a new well, which is expected to produce 16 million gallons a day. By comparison, most of Lewis & Clark’s 11 vertical wells each produce in the range of 3 million gallons a day. They hope to have that done by the spring of 2022.
In addition, what’s being billed as the tallest 2.5 million gallon water tower in the nation is being built for the system near Beresford.
The Hull to Sheldon and the Worthington to Sibley segments are future projects for the system.
Larson says that when these five projects are completed Lewis & Clark will be close to 85% complete. Funding-wise, he says if they continue to receive $18 million per year in federal funding, which is what was appropriated in the past fiscal year, the project is estimated to be completed by 2030.
Photo caption: Workers install pipeline for the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System near Sioux Center