OST Receives USDA Rural Development For Sewage Lift Station Upgrade

PINE RIDGE, S.D. – USDA Rural Development has awarded the Oglala Sioux Tribe $760,000 complete funding for a new sewage lift station serving Pine Ridge. The money comes through the Water and Waste Grant program to replace a system that has failed multiple times.

    The USDA Rural Development funding was leveraged with 2 other federal grants – $265,000 from the Indian Health Service and $493,000 from the EPA – for a total of $1,518,000.

      USDA Rural Development South Dakota State Director Julie Gross says the tribe was in compliance with all applicable regulations, but that the old lift station would fail too often and cause environmental and health concerns.

       Gross says the new lift station, which includes an emergency standby generator, provides reliable infrastructure for Pine Ridge and protects the health and safety of its residents.

       She adds that “the USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural South Dakota in building stronger and healthier communities because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

       The new double-box culvert duplex lift station meets the needs for pumping sewage to the Pine Ridge water and waste treatment facility while the emergency standby generator means it will continue to operate even if a storm knocks out power – a not-uncommon occurrence in the region.

      Pine Ridge is the headquarters of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. It’s also the largest community on the Pine Ridge Reservation and in Oglala Lakota County with a listed population of 3,808.