The town of Basin and the town of Manderson are committed to this project because they are
experiencing problems with their current water supply systems, and because they anticipate their
current systems will require a considerable capital investment in the near future.
The rural area around Manderson and Basin has formed a district, the South Bighorn County Water
District, to provide service to approximately 170 users.
A groundwater exploration program was conducted by the WWDC in 1985 that indicated a good
potential exists for obtaining groundwater from the Paleozoic formations approximately 8 miles east
of Manderson. In 1993, an exploratory well was constructed that produced water of excellent
quality, but lacked sufficient yield to supply the projected 750 taps in the regional water system. In
1994 the well was hydraulically fractured in an attempt to stimulate water production. The well now
flows approximately 350 gpm of good quality water. A second well has been drilled into the
Madison formation that produces approximately 250 gpm. The water supply from the two wells will
meet demand for many years.
In 1994, the project continued through conceptual designs and cost estimates. The sponsor has 820
taps committed to the project. The South Big Horn County Water Supply Joint Powers Board has
been formed to serve as the sponsor for the project. The engineer has conducted three separate bid
lettings for the project. The first contract has been let and the second production well has been
drilled. The second construction contract provides the major transmission pipeline between the wells
and the towns of Basin and Manderson. The second phase is complete and customers are receiving
water. The third phase construction of the rural distribution system is complete and in service.
Currently the WWDC, the USDA Rural Utility Services, the State Loan and Investment Board, and
the sponsor are funding the project. The WWDC has been funding 67 percent of the project with the
other entities funding 33 percent. The Rural Utility Services will provide the remaining funding and
the Phase III components will be adjusted to match the total funding package if necessary.
Phase II and III construction is complete. Phase IV design is complete. Construction will proceed
during the 2002 construction season. Phase IV consists of a pipeline which will connect the regional
system to the old water storage tanks at Manderson. This is necessary to correct an unstable pressure
problem in Manderson.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
No legislative action is required.