Planning Assistance to States: Thief River Falls

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published Sept. 26, 2023
Updated: Sept. 26, 2023


The purpose of this potential project is to aid in providing technical assistance to gather baseline river sediment and morphology data. This data will potentially feed into future feasibility study and project addressing the city of Thief River Falls water quality.


The city of Thief River Falls water treatment is currently located on the east bank of the Red Lake River and the raw water pump station is located adjacent to the plant. The city of Thief River Falls is looking at the potential to install a new water intake in an area upstream of the confluence of the Thief and Red Lake Rivers, to possibly minimize seasonal water quality issues.


Request for assistance has been received from the city of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, to help with technical assistance to address safe drinking water concerns. The city of Thief River Falls currently has a water treatment plant and associated water intake located on the Red Lake River, which has seen seasonally reduced water quality and quantity issues. The city is looking at relocating the raw water intake further upstream and is seeking technical assistance to assess the channel sediment depth and composition. 


In May 2022, the city of Thief River Falls and the Corps began talks and scoping the potential for technical assistance. A follow-on meeting in June 2022 was held to further discuss the geographic extent, sampling design and details, as well as steps involved in a formal cost share agreement. The City of Thief River Falls confirmed in February that they would like to move forward with an agreement. Currently, the Corps is developing a full statement of work, finalized budget, and a project cost share agreement.

It is expected that river bathymetry work will take four to five weeks and sediment core sampling will take one week to complete. The work will likely be done in late fall with ideal water and weather conditions or spring of 2024.


The study would be authorized by Section 22 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974 (Public Law 93‒251) as amended. This study would be conducted under the Corps’ planning assistance to states program, following the 50/50 cost share formula with the non-federal sponsor.


No funding has been secured to date. A general estimate of $260,000 has been proposed. The effort will be cost shared 50% Federal and 50% non-federal ($130,000 federal/$130,000 non-federal).

Total Federal Funds Allocated                                  $0