Airport working to get lagoon permitted
For the last few months, the Airport has worked with the South Dakota Department of Environmental and Natural Resources to try and make the lagoon a permitted facility.
The permit would not allow discharge of liquid, but it would allow for liquid in the lagoon to be spread on-site-- only in the case of emergency when the levels are threatening to overflow.
Basically, the lagoon water would be spread over a flat field and would not enter waterways. Officials describe it similar to a fertilization process in a farm field.
Currently, the lagoon is essentially an evaporation pool and has undergone updates to prevent runoff and extra storm water.
"We're working with the DENR to make sure that we have options available for us for an emergency situation," said Patrick Dame, Executive Director of Rapid City Regional Airport. "We have done a lot of hauling off to the existing sewer treatment plant over the last several months."
Dame said that the lagoon has never overflowed, until the most recent issue that took place during the Rally, when there was a high volume sewer being moved from various locations at that time.
Waste-water from the airport would continue to be hauled to sewer treatment plant and the permit would allow for more regulation.
"The permitting process is really a positive thing," said Dame. "It gives the DENR the ability to regulate our lagoon, which hasn't been regulated in the past, so we'll be working with them on meeting what demands to become a permitted facility.'
Dame emphasized that they are working toward an eventual long-term fix to the lagoon and they are working on the safest and best option moving forward.