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Rodeo Grounds Capping Well, Going To City Water
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Saddle Club member Mike Wagner sanitizes the pipe that will be installed as part of the new pipeline hooking to the city water supply while club member Dan Vigil looks on. - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader

It’s the end of an era for the Oakdale rodeo grounds as they finally cap the well that has historically provided the arena with water, and install the necessary piping to hook into the City of Oakdale’s supply.

The decision was not made lightly as the Saddle Club has enjoyed their independence but recent issues with the well made it necessary to make the change.

“We’ve always had well water but we started having issues and the best thing to do was to go on city water,” Saddle Club Director Dan Vigil said of the decision.

The rodeo grounds were annexed into the city five years ago but they had remained on their well water. But change is inevitable and so the decision was made to install the 400 feet of pipe and appropriate backflow mechanisms to hook into the city supply.

Club member Harry Misfeldt was awarded the bid, which was submitted at cost to help the Saddle Club.

Outside bids came in at more than $26,000 but Misfeldt, who is a contractor by trade, came in at a little more than $10,000.

It will take 30 days for the newly installed water system to be operational but well in time for any major events scheduled for the rodeo grounds.

And, as an added bonus, the switch will actually improve the water pressure to the grounds.

“With our well, we were getting 55 PSI, and with the city water we’ll get 60 PSI,” Vigil said. “It’ll be a more efficient operation and we always knew we’d have to hook up to the city water eventually anyway.”

Although the Saddle Club will now get a monthly bill for their service, it’ll all even out, said Vigil, as they were accustomed to paying for water for the water trucks during events as well as the costly county inspections that had to be completed before each event because of the private well system. Now, the inspections are the city’s burden.

“If there’s something in the water, the city has to deal with it,” Vigil said, smiling.

At the end of the day, Vigil said the club was ready to make the switch, although it would mark the end of an era for the rodeo grounds.

“We’re making history right now,” he joked.