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SOUTH DAKOTA Department of
Agriculture & Natural Resources

Protecting South Dakota's Tomorrow...Today!
Joe Foss Building
523 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501-3182
Contact Us  Field Offices

Surface Water

NPDES Permitting

Why are National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations important?

By 1972, municipal and industrial wastewater pollution of the rivers, streams, and lakes in America had become a national concern. To clean up the nation's waters, Congress passed the federal Clean Water Act of 1972. This Act formed the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Program. The main goals of the NPDES Program are to control the amount of pollution that can enter waters of the United States and protect the beneficial uses of all streams and lakes. EPA delegated authority for this program to South Dakota on December 30, 1993. South Dakota refers to these permits as "Surface Water Discharge" permits.  South Dakota received delegation of the biosolids permitting program from EPA in December 2001.

Who needs a NPDES/Surface Water Discharge permit?

Surface Water Discharge permits are required for any point source that is discharging pollutants to waters of the state. A "point source" is, for example, a municipal wastewater treatment facility, large scale mining operation, or industrial discharge. If the discharge contains something that could adversely impact the water body, a permit is written to ensure the beneficial uses of the water body are protected.

A Pretreatment Industrial User permit is another type of permit that we issue. A Pretreatment permit is issued to an industry that discharges process wastewater into a city's sanitary sewer. These permits are issued to ensure that a city's sewer system is protected and to ensure that the industrial discharge does not cause the city's discharge to violate its Surface Water Discharge permit. The cities of Aberdeen, Brookings, Huron, Mitchell, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and Watertown have received delegation of this program, so the Pretreatment permit will be issued by those municipalities. DENR issues this permit to industries located in other municipalities. For more information about Pretreatment permits, contact Kyle Doerr at (605) 773-3351.

A Biosolids Management Permit is another type of permit that we issue. Biosolids are sludges that meet state standards for beneficial use. These permits are issued to facilities that need to dispose of biosolids to ensure the biosolids are beneficially reused in an environmentally safe manner. For more information about a Biosolids Management Permit, contact Raul Vasquez at (605) 394-2229.

Stormwater Discharge Permits are also required for several operations. Such activities include stormwater discharges associated with construction activities, stormwater discharges associated with industrial activities, discharges from municipal separate stormwater systems, temporary discharges, and dewatering. For more information about stormwater permitting, contact Katie Adair at 1-800-737-8676.


How does the permitting process work?

An application for a Surface Water Discharge, Pretreatment Industrial User, or Biosolids permit should be sent to the department at least 180 days prior to any discharge. The department makes a recommendation on the permit and publishes it in a local newspaper for a 30-day public comment period. If the permit is not contested within this time frame, the permit is issued. The regulations can be found in the Administrative Rules of South Dakota 74:52.

Where do I get a Surface Water Discharge permit?
For information contact Tina McFarling with the Surface Water Quality Program in Pierre at (605) 773-3351. Applications for each of these permits, along with additional information, are available at the forms website.