Volume 122, Number
Devils Lake outlet ready to go
BY RICHARD PETERSON
A small amount of Devils Lake water reached the Sheyenne River for the first time August 5 during a test of the state’s outlet to Devils Lake. All four 1250 h.p. pumps at two pumping stations were tested and three of the four worked fine. One pump needs a new electrical board.
While the water was flowing through the outlet, the US government, the Canadian government, the states of North Dakota and Minnesota and the province of Manitoba issued a joint statement announcing an agreement on the state’s outlet, which is expected sometime this week to begin sending 50 cubic feet per second (cfs) of Devils Lake water to the Sheyenne.
* The state has constructed a rock and gravel filter on the Earl Huffman property to prevent the release of "macroscopic aquatic nuisance species from Devils Lake." Webster defines macroscopic as being large enough to be seen by the naked human eye.
* The US and Canada will cooperate in the design and construction of a more advanced filtration and/or disinfection system for the outlet, taking into account the results of ongoing monitoring and risk assessment. The costs of any additional filtration system will apparently be borne by the US and Canadian governments and possibly the province of Manitoba. Cost of a more advanced filtration system could be as much as $18 million. According to Gov. John Hoeven, North Dakota will not have to stand the cost of any additional filtering system.
* The participants will work with the International Red River Board of the International Joint Commission to develop and implement a shared risk management strategy for the greater Red River Basin, which includes Devils Lake.
* The participants will take immediate measures to prevent the spread of any aquatic nuisance species that pose significant risk to the basin, if any are found.
* The province of Manitoba will complete tasks associated with mitigating the impacts of the Pembina Border Dike no later than Aug. 31, 2005. North Dakota farmers claim the dike creates flooding in North Dakota.
* North Dakota affirms it does not have plans to construct an inlet to Devils Lake for Missouri River water and the US federal government affirms that it is prohibited by law from expending funds toward the construction of such an inlet.
The $50,000 rock and gravel filter was a last minute addition to the state’s $28 million outlet which is located entirely in Benson County. The water is piped into the bottom of the filter, which is composed of 18 feet of rock and gravel. The water percolates up through this barrier before emptying into a canal and flowing to the Josephine Pumping Station, which is located about two miles east of the Stony Lake Church site.
From the Josephine Pumping Station, the water travels through pipeline about two miles to a point about half a mile north of the former Cliff Wallace farm. From there gravity takes over and the water flows directly to the Sheyenne through canals and siphons. The Sheyenne River flows into the Red River near Fargo and then the water will flow north through Manitoba, emptying into Lake Winnipeg.
Canadians are concerned water from the outlet will pollute Lake Winnipeg and introduce foreign biota from Devils Lake.
Scientists from Canada and the US were at Devils Lake the last week in July to obtain samples of Devils Lake water to test for organisms which may not be present in the Red River Basin. It’s highly unlikely there would be any species in Devils Lake that are not present in the Red River Basin because birds travel freely between Devils Lake and the Sheyenne and Red Rivers and would in all probability have transported virtually all organisms from one water system to the other.
The outlet will be capable of carrying 100 cfs but will be limited to 50 cfs the first year. Next year 100 cfs can be released through the outlet.
However, stringent water quality rules are in place. The ND Health Department permit requires blended water from the Sheyenne and Devils Lake to be no more than 300 parts per million (ppm) of sulfates. Sheyenne River Water has about 100 ppm of sulfates and the West Bay of Devils Lake has about 500 ppm of sulfates.
There is also a water quantity restriction. If the Sheyenne is high, less water can be discharged into the river because it will flow over its banks.
If the Sheyenne is low, less water can be discharged because of water quality restrictions.
These two 1250 h.p. pumps located at the Josephine Pumping Station (actually closer to Lallie than Josephine) are located about two miles east of the Stony Lake Cemetery. They pump Devils Lake water from the canal in the background into a 40′ wide by 90′ high standpipe (water tower) which provides the gravity pressure to push the water through underground pipes to a higher elevation. The water comes out about half a mile north of the former Cliff Wallace farm in North Oberon Township. Each pump is capable of pumping 50 cubic feet per second. These photos and others in this issue are displayed in vivid color at www.bensoncountynews.com.
Devils Lake water enters the state’s outlet at Round Lake. Pictured here is the 40′ wide x 75′ high standpipe which pushes water south to the new rock and gravel filter on the Earl Huffman farm. The two 1250 h.p. pumps are just to the left of the road.
This is the rock and gravel filter. Water enters at the bottom and percolates up through 18 feet of rock and gravel to filter out organisms which can be seen with the naked eye. In the test, some of the finer gravel was pushed out of the filter by pressure of the water, so engineers will go back to the drawing board to figure out a way to keep the gravel in the filter.
This is a drop structure north of the former Cliff Wallace farm. Its purpose is to slow down the flow of water and take some of the energy out of the water, thus reducing erosion along the canal. The first water through the outlet was very brown, since it cleaned out the pipes and picked up mud from construction. After the outlet runs a while the water will become clear.
The first trickle of water from Devils Lake to flow through the siphon north of the Jim Elstad farm is shown reaching the rocks in front of the siphon.
This is the final gate before the Devils Lake water cascades through a pipeline to the terminal structure on the Peterson Coulee. The flow of water can be stopped at this point.
This is the terminal structure with the Peterson Coulee in the foreground.
The water will flow over the concrete barrier into the rocks, then into the Peterson Coulee and then into the Sheyenne River. The concrete barrier is full of water from rain and it flowed over the barrier before Devils Lake water arrived.
Four-H members from the Farm & Home Improvement Club met north of Minnewaukan for a fishing outing. A lesson on fish cleaning was given by 4-H parent Ed Gilderhus and county agent Scott Knoke. Left to right are Scott Knoke, Brady Kallenbach, Preston Gilderhus, Hailey Kallenbach, Kimberly Randle, Jaden Kallenbach and Andrew Pranke.
Students laud new ND smoking law
Students from Minnewaukan and their advisor attended the STAND — Students Turning Around North Dakota — Summit in Minot August 1-3. STAND is an annual high school tobacco prevention conference sponsored by the First District Health Unit in Minot. The summit is for students who want to fight back against the tobacco companies who get rich by getting teens addicted.
Seventy students and adults from across the state got together to learn the facts about tobacco use in North Dakota and what can be done about it. They reviewed the new North Dakota smoke-free law and why it is important to protect citizens from secondhand smoke. State Representative Lee Kaldor of Mayville, one of the sponsors of the smoke-free bill, gave the address. The group celebrated with a balloon release. Each balloon recognized a fatality resulting from exposure to secondhand smoke.
The following days of the summit were filled with a variety of events to give students the know-how to make a difference in their communities. They found out how to make school grounds tobacco-free and learned how to teach elementary students about the benefits of staying tobacco-free for life.
Interactive classroom sessions, including tobacco company tactics to get kids addicted, a tobacco trivia buzzer game and a presentation about how Hollywood and Big Tobacco promote smoking in the movies gave the students and their chaperones insights about the sociology of tobacco use.
Students were also entertained with a pool party, dance and refreshments.
Minnewaukan people are pictured with State Representative Lee Kaldor, second from left. Left to right are Kylee Rallo, advisor Bonnie Erickson, Alyssa Erickson and Beth Beecroft.
STAND Summit students release balloons to celebrate the new North Dakota smoke-free law.