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Rapid City Receives Exceptional Project Award for Water Expansion

For Immediate Release: December 5, 2019

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Brian Walsh, (605) 773-3296


Rapid City Receives Exceptional Project Award for Water Expansion


PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announce that the East Rapid City Water System Expansion project has been selected as a 2019 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund AQUARIUS Exceptional Project by the Environmental Protection Agency for Region 8.


“Congratulations to Rapid City on their recent award,” said Gov. Noem. “This project was a unique partnership where Rapid City set out to serve more than 600 non-city residents located east of town. Those non-city residents were being served by water systems that were inadequate, unreliable, and failed to meet safe drinking water standards. This is a well-deserved award and I am very proud of their leadership to see this through.”


The AQUARIUS Program nationally recognizes projects for exceptional focus on sustainability and protection of public health. This project is one of only 10 projects recognized in 2019.


When Rapid City began planning to extend a new water line to the Regional Airport located east of the city, the DENR identified the potential to address the needs of small community water systems in the project area.  Each system had known deficiencies including unreliable wells, inadequate water quantity, poor water quality, non-compliance with Drinking Water Quality Standards, and multiple Notices of Violations such as failing bacterial tests or the presence of radionuclides.  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 EPA requested each state nominate one project financed with a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan for the national AQUARIUS award.  Projects nominated for the AQUARIUS Award were to focus on a sophisticated approach to addressing sustainability and protection of public health. And demonstrate the high level of innovation possible with the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

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