The Town of Bairoil is supplementing its municipal supply by developing an alternative
groundwater supply to the Battle Springs Pipeline, which was originally operated by BP-Amoco;
and by rehabilitating Abel Springs. BP-Amoco sold the Lost Soldier Oil Field operations to Merit
Energy, which is a significant portion of Bairoil's water supply. Merit Energy also uses water
from the Battle Springs Pipeline. With 1999 WWDC Level II funds, a production-sized test well
was drilled to improve Bairoil's water supply. Deep groundwater sources are difficult to find
because of the variable aquifer supply quantities available and widespread occurrence of uranium
deposits, which adversely affect radionuclide levels. The town purchased the test well as a
supply well and was granted an additional $200,000 Level II appropriation (Session 2000) to drill
a second production well. The second supply well was completed during 2001, however its yield
was significantly less than the first production well's design yield of 60 gpm.
The town has subsequently determined not to purchase the second well and is proceeding with
design of a transmission line to connect the first well with the town's water system.
The Level III 2000 appropriation will be used to construct necessary transmission facilities and
implement efforts to enhance flows derived from the original Abel Springs source.
The town has negotiated a contract with Wester-Wetstein & Associates, Inc. of Gillette to provide
design and construction administration services for the project. A lengthy period of time was
needed to secure BLM easement approval, which was not issued until October 2002. Easement
conditions prohibit construction from February 1 until July 31 because of endangered/threatened
species. Design has been completed with construction scheduled to be completed during the
summer/fall of 2003.
The Level II study revealed that water consumption by the town far exceeds the normal demand
by a town its size. A continued Level II study was authorized by the 2002 Legislature to prepare
a master plan of the town's water system to include an audit of the town's transmission, storage,
and distribution system. The Abel Springs and the Battle Springs Pipeline (Merit Energy's Lost
Soldier Gas Field Supply) will be closely inspected to determine if improvements to those
supplies are prudent. An investigation of source(s) to supply a raw water system will also be
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
No legislative action is required.