Surface Water
Discharge Permits

What we do:

  1. Permit direct and indirect wastewater discharges to waters of the state.
  2. Permit biosolids and septage disposal.
  3. Conduct routine inspections of permitted facilities.

Municipal/Domestic Permits

Information related to the regulation of discharges from domestic wastewater treatment facilities to waters of the state.

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Industrial Wastewater Permits

Information related to the regulation of discharges from industrial users to waters of the state.

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Pretreatment Program

Information related to the regulation of indirect industrial wastewater discharges to municipal sanitary sewer systems.

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Biosolids Permitting

Information related to the disposal of biosolids (wastewater sludge) and septage.

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Water Treatment Plant Permit

Information related to the water treatment plant and distribution system general permit.

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Pesticide General Permits

Information for pesticide applicators for discharge of pesticides to waters of the state.

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Surface Water Discharge FAQ

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Surface Water Quality Standards

In 1972, Congress passed the federal Clean Water Act. One of the requirements of the Clean Water Act is that each state develop standards for their waters to ensure the beneficial uses, such as swimming and fishing, were protected.

A water quality standard defines the water quality goals of a water body, or a portion of the water body. The water quality standards regulations establish the use or uses to be made of a water body, set criteria necessary to protect the uses, and establish policies to maintain and protect water quality. South Dakota has developed surface water quality standards for all waters of the state, as required by the Clean Water Act. South Dakota's water quality standards are designed to protect public health and welfare, enhance the quality of water, and uphold the goals of the federal Clean Water Act.

The Administrative Rules of South Dakota (ARSD 74:51:01, :02, and :03) contain South Dakota's surface water quality standards. Chapter 74:51:01 contains both the numeric and narrative criteria to protect the uses of the state's water bodies. Chapters 74:51:02 and 74:51:03 designate the beneficial uses assigned to each specific water body in the state

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Surface Water Discharge Permits

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I can't find the discharge permit I am looking for... If you are having problems locating a discharge permit and these search tips are not helping, then please contact Tina McFarling at (605) 773-3351 or email us

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I am having problems getting the search to work... Please contact Ron Duvall at (605) 773-3352 or by email if the search is not working properly.  

Ground Water Discharge Permits

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.


Where do I get an application?

Click here application

Groundwater Discharge Permit Process Flowchart

New Ground Water Discharge Plans Under Review Powertech ground water discharge plan
If you have any further questions or need an application please contact Matt Hicks of the Surface Water Quality Program at (605) 773-3351.