Park Rapids stops selling water to Line 3 project

Extreme drought conditions have been invoked to halt Precision Pipeline's withdrawals from the city's water supply.

Park Rapids City Hall

Park Rapids is suspending its sales of water from the city’s water supply to the Enbridge Line 3 replacement project.

According to City Administrator Angel Weasner, Friday afternoon, Aug. 20 was the last time that a contractor involved in the pipeline construction project purchased water.

“The state elevated the status of Park Rapids’ drought,” on Aug. 19, Weasner explained, “which requires further limitations, and we immediately notified the company, Precision Pipeline, that Friday will be the last day they may purchase water.”

Weasner said the city notified its top 10 vendors that it was suspending their water withdrawals. She added that since early June, Precision Pipeline drew 6 million gallons from the city’s water supply.

Weasner told the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative (WCMC) that, although the city has authority to regulate water withdrawals, it has relied on state orders to do so this summer.


Water is a precious resource

Park Rapids resident Flo Hedeen spoke out at the Aug. 10 Park Rapids City Council meeting about the importance of preserving the earth’s resources for future generations by halting the sale of water to Enbridge.

“I’m grateful,” she said about the city’s decision to stop selling water to the pipeline project. “The city of Park Rapids is following the guidance required by the state of Minnesota at this point. I believe water is a very, very precious resource that is getting only more precious as climate change is taking hold. We as people are responsible for what is happening and we as people need to make drastic changes in order to pass along anything to future generations.”

Enbridge response

“The replacement of Line 3 has advanced to the point where we no longer need to purchase water from Park Rapids,” Enbridge officials said in news release. “The current drought conditions in Minnesota are concerning to everyone. Our efforts continue as we focus on protecting, conserving and reusing water on the project. More than 50 percent of pipeline sections are being tested by reusing water. We continue to work with agencies on next steps.”

The news release goes on to state the project is moving forward on or ahead of schedule and is nearly complete.

“Replacing the original 1960s pipeline with new pipe made of thicker steel is already done in Canada, Wisconsin and North Dakota and is expected to be finished in Minnesota in the fourth quarter this year,” it said.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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