Ground Water
Discharge Permits

Do I need a Ground Water Discharge Plan?

A Ground Water Discharge Plan is needed in most cases if you are, or plan to discharge a contaminant to ground water.  
If you have a discharge that was intentional dumping or an accidental release, please contact the Spills Program for assistance at 605-773-3296 or after hours at 605-773-3231.

If you are dewatering and discharging pumped or extracted ground water and are not discharging a contaminant, the permit you need is a Temporary Discharge Permit.

Why are groundwater discharge regulations important?

Groundwater is one of the most precious natural resources in South Dakota. Because of the lack of dependable surface water supplies, our rural residents and 79 percent of our public water supply systems rely upon groundwater for their source of water.

In 1989, the South Dakota Legislature declared that groundwater is a resource of immeasurable value (South Dakota Codified Law 34A-2-104) to public health and welfare, and that pollution of South Dakota's groundwater constitutes a menace to public health, welfare and the environment. It was also determined that once groundwater is polluted, it is extremely difficult and expensive to clean up, so both enforcement and public education are necessary to minimize releases of pollutants. In order to maintain and improve groundwater quality for present and future beneficial uses, the state implemented a groundwater protection strategy that promotes pollution prevention, the correction of existing groundwater pollution, and close control of limited degradation for necessary economic and social development.

What statutes and regulations apply to me if I have a facility that directly or indirectly discharges to groundwater?

The groundwater protection strategy is found in South Dakota Codified Law Chapter 34A-2-10 and 34A-2-11 . This statute provides the authorization for the regulation of groundwater discharges through groundwater discharge plans and groundwater quality standards. The regulations outlining the requirements for groundwater discharge plans and standards are contained in the Administrative Rules of South Dakota 74:54:01 and 74:54:02.

Do I need to notify you that I discharge to groundwater?

If you own or operate a facility that plans to discharge to groundwater, you must apply to the secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources for an approved groundwater discharge plan at least 180 days before any discharge. Facilities currently discharging without a permit should contact the department for information on how to obtain a permit.

How does the notification process work?

The application requirements for a groundwater discharge plan approval are contained in ARSD 74:54:16:06. If the secretary determines the application to be complete, a notice of recommendation will be published in a local legal newspaper (controversial applications will be published statewide). A 30-day public notice period follows, allowing interested persons to file a petition for a contested case. If a petition is not filed, the discharge plan will become final.

Groundwater Discharge Permit Process Flowchart

Required Application Forms

Ground Water Discharge Plan Application

Certification of Applicant Form

Permission to Inspect Form


If you have any further questions please contact Matt Hicks of the Water Quality Program at (605) 773-3351.