Agency RSS

Best Management Practices Reduce Bacteria Levels in Pierre Creek

For Immediate Release: April 22, 2021
Media Contact: Brian Walsh 605.773.5559


Best Management Practices Reduce Bacteria Levels in Pierre Creek


PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR), working together with local and federal partners successfully implemented best management practices (BMPs) along Pierre Creek to reduce E. coli bacteria levels. The creek now meets its beneficial use designation and is no longer listed as an impaired stream.


The Pierre Creek watershed is in Miner, McCook, and Hansen counties.


“I am excited to see Pierre Creek removed from the impaired waterbodies list,” said DANR Secretary Hunter Roberts. “Projects like this are an excellent example of agriculture, environmental, and natural resource partners working together to achieve the best outcomes for South Dakota.”


Through several projects over 15 years natural resource partners implemented a variety of BMPs including agricultural waste systems, grazing management, and riparian restoration and protection measure to reduce bacteria levels in Pierre Creek. Prior to implementing the BMPs E. coli was detected above the standard in 29 percent of samples. Following BMP implementation that was reduced to just four percent. In addition, modeling indicates the BMPs reduced nitrogen loading by 23,266 pounds, phosphorus by 8,809 pounds, and sediment by 768 tons.


The Pierre Creek projects were funded in part by Clean Water Act Section 319 funds ($257,772), U.S. Department of Agriculture funds ($202,700), and local funding sources ($1,018,386) including landowners, Hanson County Conservation District, Lake Hanson Association, and the James River Water Development District. Other partners include the city of Alexandria, DANR, the U.S. EPA, and the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service.


For more information about DANR visit us online at danr.sd.gov or find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.