The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, and city of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, signed a cost share agreement for the Corps to assist the city in evaluating a new location for a water intake Dec. 21, 2023.

The Corps and the city of Thief River Falls signed the agreement whereby the Corps will provide technical assistance through the collection and analysis of baseline river measurements and sediment composition. The information will be used by the city of Thief River Falls to assess a viable location to install a new water intake that addresses water quality issues and improves the city water.

With the signed agreement, the project can now enter the data collection phase that includes a review of prior data collection, establishment of current conditions through measurements and surveys of the Red Lake River and Thief River, and collection of soil samples to better understand the river sediment depth and deposition.

The Corps is providing this assistance under its Planning Assistance to States Program, authorized by Section 22 of the 1974 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), as amended, provides authority for the Corps of Engineers to assist states, local governments, and other non-federal entities in the preparation of comprehensive plans for the development, use and conservation of water and related land resources.

“The Planning Assistance to States agreement with the city of Thief River Falls is an important step bringing the Corps’ technical assistance capabilities to the city,” said Kevin Bigalke, St. Paul District project manager. “The study will help the city develop a new water intake to provide safe, clean drinking water to the residents of Thief River Falls.”