South Dakota water quality

Little Spearfish Creek in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Saarchlight)

West River lawmakers want state cash to prevent East River-level pollution in Black Hills waters

BY: - February 22, 2024

PIERRE – Water quality advocates want lawmakers to pump $5 million into the creation of a Black Hills watershed program that would prevent its streams from turning out as polluted as those in eastern South Dakota. House Bill 1235 came from Rep. Scott Odenbach, R-Spearfish, and Sen. Red Dawn Foster, D-Pine Ridge. Its impetus is […]

Snow covers the Big Sioux River running along Good Earth State Park near Sioux Falls. (Makenzie Huber, South Dakota Searchlight)

South Dakota’s riparian buffer strip initiative lacks gumption

BY: - December 19, 2023

Agriculture stands as a cornerstone of South Dakota’s economy, wielding considerable influence as an $11 billion industry. Gov. Kristi Noem, hailing from a family farm and deeply rooted in the ranch lifestyle, firmly advocates that agriculture and conservation should go hand in hand. Throughout her time in office, she has committed to expanding programs in […]

Firefighting foam, used at airports and military bases, has been identified as a source of toxic PFAS chemicals. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fire Administration)

Federal study detects ‘forever chemicals’ in three SD private wells

BY: - July 6, 2023

Rural water systems across the United States are less likely than urban areas to be contaminated with “forever chemicals” that may lead to health problems such as cancer, thyroid disease and high cholesterol, according to a study from the U.S. Geological Survey released Tuesday. But the same study detected those chemicals in rural private wells […]

Wastewater treatment plant in Buena Vista, Georgia, on July 29, 2020.

Town of Hermosa fined for spraying too much wastewater over farm fields

BY: - November 17, 2022

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) has fined Hermosa $13,000 for Surface Water Discharge permit violations. The city of 373, located about 20 miles south of Rapid City, failed to submit documentation before spraying wastewater on agricultural land, the DANR said. It also failed to monitor that wastewater and went over […]