Sioux Falls breaks ground on Water Reclamation Plant expansion

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 4:26 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The city of Sioux Falls broke ground on a major project Tuesday that will aid in the city’s continued growth.

The Regional Water Reclamation Plant expansion project will be the first major addition to the facility since it was built more than 40 years ago.

The 215-million-dollar project will be one of the largest in city history.

These improvements will extend the life of the overall system, in addition to addressing growth and economic development for the region over the next 20 years.

“Sioux Falls is growing at an incredible pace right now, and in order to keep up with that we have to invest in things like this,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

One of the minds behind the project is Sioux Falls Public Works Director Mark Cotter.

“The first utility you need to have as you plan growth is wastewater,” Cotter said.

It impacts surrounding communities too.

“It’s not just a city of Sioux Falls project, they serve Tea, they serve Brandon, and other regional small communities as well,” South Dakota Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources Secretary Hunter Roberts said.

The expansion will rehabilitate the existing plant and enhance operational efficiencies.

“If you don’t invest in your infrastructure, your systems break down and you do not have the capacity to serve it, and then you end up with backed-up sewers, and that’s a big problem,” Roberts said.

After it’s complete, the facility will see a 50% increase in capacity, from 21 to 30 million gallons per day.

“When this plant was originally built it was very robust and we’ve been able to get longer than a normal cycle out of the existing plant, but it was built very well, it’s timeless architecture, and we’ll continue that with this expansion,” Cotter said.

In addition to other key infrastructure projects going on throughout the city, this one aims to set the community up for future success.

“We call it taking care of today for a better tomorrow,” TenHaken said. “What we mean by that is there’s a lot of things that we’re doing now that a lot of us who are working here will never see the benefits of or see the fruits of that labor during our time, whether it’s in office or as an employee, this is a great example of that.”

The project received funding through loans from the State Revolving Fund, a state-level program that provides low-interest loans to water, wastewater, and sewer projects.

The project is expected to be completed by 2025.

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