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News Releases from Region 08

EPA recognizes South Dakota projects for excellence and innovation in clean water and drinking water infrastructure

City of Dell Rapids and Rapid City receive recognition for sustainability and protection of public health

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Lisa McClain-Vanderpool (

DENVER - (Nov. 18, 2019) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized 30 clean water and 25 drinking water infrastructure projects for excellence and innovation within the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs. These exemplary projects showcase water quality improvements and public health protections that can be achieved when the federal government, states, municipalities and local utilities work together.

“The State Revolving Fund programs play a critical role in helping communities modernize aging infrastructure, create jobs, and protect public health and the environment,” said David Ross, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “These projects are making vital water quality improvements in communities across the country.”

Two major projects were nominated by South Dakota to receive recognition for exceptional infrastructure work: Dell Rapids wastewater treatment facility improvements as well as the East Rapid City drinking water expansion project.

“Projects such as these in South Dakota demonstrate our commitment to protecting public health and ensuring environmental and economic sustainability,” said Greg Sopkin EPA Regional Administrator. “These innovative projects serve as models for addressing our aging infrastructure.”

In Rapid City, more than five miles of water mains and a pressure reducing facility were constructed as part of the project to provide high quality drinking water from a reliable source to approximately 250 residences. The total project cost was $7,537,800, and funding through the Board of Water and Natural Resources consisted of a state grant of $911,800 and a $5,126,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan with $3,375,000 in principal forgiveness.  The remaining $1,500,000 was contributed by the city to bring water to the city’s Water Reclamation Facility. 

The Dell Rapids outdated wastewater treatment facility needed improvements to prevent surface water discharge violations and ensure long-term system reliability. The new wastewater treatment plant began operation in early 2019 and is providing high quality wastewater effluent that meets discharge limits. The Board of Water and Natural Resources awarded a $2,386,000 Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan and $3,372,000 in grants for the $5.8 million project. 

The State Revolving Funds (SRF) are EPA-state partnerships that provide communities with a permanent, independent source of low-cost financing for a wide range of water quality and drinking water infrastructure projects. EPA’s SRFs have provided more than $170 billion in financial assistance to over 39,900 water quality infrastructure projects and 14,500 drinking water projects across the country. This year’s honored projects include large wastewater infrastructure upgrades, community driven green infrastructure development and the construction of new water treatment plants. Several projects also include lead service line replacement, furthering EPA’s goals to protect human health under the Federal Lead Action Plan. These projects highlight outstanding achievements in water quality improvement that benefit Americans from coast to coast.

EPA’s Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) program celebrates innovation demonstrated by CWSRF programs and assistance recipients. Each participating program nominated an innovative project that improved water quality, provided public health or economic benefits; and/or encouraged sustainability in the marketplace. Thirty projects by state or local governments, public utilities, and private entities were recognized by the 2019 PISCES program.

To see the full list of 2019 PISCES recognized projects visit the EPA website:

EPA’s inaugural AQUARIUS program recognition celebrates innovation, sustainability, and public health protection demonstrated by DWSRF programs and assistance recipients. Each participating state program nominated one project for this first-ever recognition. Nominated projects all had to complete construction within the last two years, and be compliant with the Safe Drinking Water Act, along with providing financial integrity and public health benefits. Twenty-five projects by state or local governments and drinking water utilities were recognized by the 2019 AQUARIUS program.

To see the full list of recognized projects and learn more about the AQUARIUS Program, visit: