Mni Wasté Water Company ready to break ground on treatment plant

Farm Forum

Eagle Butte, S.D. — Mni Waste’ Water Company located in Eagle Butte, S.D., will soon have a new Water Treatment Plant and Trunkline stemming from the Missouri River thanks to USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal funding of $65,871,293. The federal funds will be leveraged with an Indian Health Service grant of $1,000,000 and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe funds of $7,000,000. The ground breaking ceremony parallels with the 44th anniversary of Earth Day typically observed annually on April 22nd. Earth Day raises awareness about the role of citizens, business and communities in protecting the environment and ensuring a cleaner, brighter future for generations to come.

This project is a prime example of an Earth Day project. The entire project totals $73.9 million and will serve as the core of what is needed to eventually ensure sufficient water delivery over a very wide area. The project includes 10.5 miles of raw water intake line, 25 miles of treated water transmission line and water intake modifications; and a new water treatment plan and modifications to the treated main transmission line.

“I want to congratulate the board and staff at Mni Waste’ Water Company and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe for their hard work and persistence in planning this project and securing funding for this important infrastructure expansion,” said Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks. “Residents of Dewy and Ziebach Counties can be assured of safe drinking water. Just as important is economic development can move forward with certainty that water needs will be met. I am so happy USDA Rural Development was able to assist. I want to thank Senator Johnson, Senator Thune, Congresswoman Noem and Rural Development for their support of this project.”

Mni Waste’ Water Company was formed as a Tribally Chartered Rural Water System on September 29, 2003. The Company operates the treatment plant, water distribution system, and all other functions of this regional water system. The system improvements are needed to allow continued development on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, which includes all of Dewey and Ziebach Counties, as well as the adjacent counties of Meade and Perkins.

“We are most appreciative of the leadership and support we have received from Rural Development from the Secretary of Agriculture at headquarters down to Elsie Meeks and her great staff here in the State. We also want to thank the South Dakota Congressional Delegation for their strong support for our water needs over the years,” said Leo Fischer, Manager of the Mni Waste’ Water Company. “This will not fix all of our water problems as we are dealing with the core of the system that will get water to Eagle Butte. From there we pump water throughout the reservation but will need larger pipes to outlying communities in the future. Among the many positive things this project accomplishes will be to end the housing construction moratorium we have in Eagle Butte as we will finally have sufficient water to serve those homes as well as the new hospital. We are very pleased with these developments,” he continued.

USDA Rural Development has eight offices in the state that assist rural communities. Office locations include a state office in Huron, along with area offices in Aberdeen, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Yankton.