Clay Rural Water System receives national EPA award

Clay Rural Water System receives national EPA award
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has honored the Clay Rural Water System (RWS) of Wakonda with a 2006 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Award for Sustainable Health Protection. Clay RWS is one of 30 recipients nationwide to receive the award.

Andrea Griese of the EPA's area office in Pierre presented the award to water system officials June 20. The awards annually recognize the most innovative and effective DWSRF projects. Each state in the nation nominated one project that was funded with DWSRF funds. Clay RWS utilized a $4.3 million loan from the fund to construct the South Union Expansion Project. The project expanded rural water service to 370 locations in southern Union County. The total project budget was $5.7 million. The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which administers the EPA loan program in South Dakota, nominated Clay RWS for the award.

"The Clay Rural Water System project will increase service reliability and water quality and is an excellent example of sound asset management," said EPA Region 8 Administrator Robert E. Roberts. "This EPA award recognizes exceptional creativity in designing projects that promote sustainability and protect public health."

The project was constructed in 2006-2007 and included a new state-of-the-art reverse osmosis water treatment plant; a 250,000-gallon elevated storage tank and 80 miles of distribution pipeline. The project serves 140 rural users located between Elk Point and North Sioux City. Service is also provided to 230 residents located in the Deer Run, Wynstone, Sandy Mead and Riv-R-Land housing developments. Residents in the Deer Run and Riv-R-Land developments were in violation of federal drinking water standards, as high levels of radium were detected in the wells serving the developments. The project helped to provide those residents with a new safe source of water.

The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act established the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program to make funds available to drinking water systems to finance infrastructure improvements.

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