Client:
Highwater Ethanol, LLC

Lamberton, MN

Key Features:

  • Installed pump station, two ground storage reservoirs, & 16 miles of 10” pipe
  • Quarry now supplies the plant with an additional 800 gallons of water
    per minute

Key Experience:

  • Evaluated options for a supplementary water source for ethanol production
  • Designed and constructed a 25-million gallon storage lagoon•Found a quick and simple solution to unforeseen algae growth in lagoon

New Water Supply for Ethanol Plant

Highwater Ethanol was running out of water.  Even though the shallow wells near their plant were difficult to treat, they had provided the water they needed to fuel their business for years.  Now aquifer water levels were declining, and the State was telling them to go find another source of water.  There were no good options close by.

Twenty-tree miles away from the Highwater Ethanol plant site, a rock quarry was dumping hundreds of millions of gallons of clean fresh groundwater water into a creek annually.  If Highwater Ethanol could capture a fraction of this water, they could keep their processing plant running at maximum capacity AND significantly decrease treatment costs with a better water supply.

DGR Engineering helped Highwater ethanol build an intake, two pump stations, two reservoirs and holding ponds to move the water along its 23-mile journey.  There were many challenges to the design, including difficult topography, shallow bedrock and seasonal use that required special protection from freezing.  In the end, we delivered a pipeline is simple to operate, and can be controlled from the plant computer 23 miles away from the source.

During startup, and unprecedented algae bloom at the source threatened to shut down the water supply the ethanol plant desperately needed before winter.   DGR worked our connections with a well screen material supplier in Minneapolis, and Highwater provided their own skilled welders and a spare air blower.  Together we designed, supplied, fabricated and installed a 2nd intake screen that provided a permanent solution in just 3 days!

The project has been in operation for 3 years.  Highwater Ethanol has decreased their dependency on the poor-quality shallow aquifer, and at the same time, has reduced their water treatment costs.

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