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West Fargo Water Treatment Facility Plan

Project Details


The City of West Fargo’s drinking water source consisted of non-centralized groundwater wells. In 2015, City staff determined a study was needed to assess:

  • The viability of constructing a new water treatment facility (WTF) or 
  • The option of purchasing water from the City of Fargo.

If a new WTF were to be built, it needed to be determined if:

  • Existing groundwater wells could be utilized, or
  • A new surface water supply from the Sheyenne River should be treated.

Apex Engineering Group was retained by the City to provide an update to their Water System Facility Plan and answer questions regarding the cost and long-term viability of the various alternatives.

Water Treatment Facility Options

The Apex team reviewed reports, assumptions, and data from an earlier master plan document developed by another consultant. Due to dwindling aquifer levels and the lack of a dedicated raw water transmission main within the City, it was determined that a new surface water treatment facility with an intake on the Sheyenne River, was the only viable option if a new WTF was to be built.

The surface water quality of the Sheyenne River contained levels of sulfate above the secondary standard, which was undesirable. Several options were evaluated to treat the surface water supply, but the final analysis determined that lime softening with side stream reverse osmosis treatment for sulfate removal was the preferred option. In addition, the proposed WTF included re-carbonation, chemical feed, residuals handling, clear-well storage, and high-service pumping facilities.

The Current Distribution System

Another major factor and cost associated with this project was the City’s non-centralized water distribution system. The existing distribution grid utilized wells that were located relatively close to storage facilities and therefore didn’t employ a centralized treatment system or large diameter pipelines for moving water. After a detailed analysis bottlenecks were discovered. Apex provided recommendations to alleviate those bottlenecks, which would allow efficient and reliable service if a centralized water system was to be implemented.

Cost Estimates

Detailed estimates for all of the alternatives were developed. Capital costs along with operation and maintenance costs were prepared to assist the City of West Fargo in its decision-making process. The costs were further broken down into a cost per 1,000 gallons to show how the various improvements would affect user rates, and an implementation schedule was prepared to demonstrate how financials would be impacted. The report and recommendations were delivered to the City in 2015.

City’s Decision

In the end, the most viable option for the City of West Fargo and its customers turned out to be the purchase of drinking water from its neighbor, the City of Fargo. In 2017, the City of West Fargo began buying water from Fargo based on recommendations from the Facility Plan Update.

Project Type

Drinking Water 





City of West Fargo


West Fargo, ND

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