Agriculture Waste Management Systems
Through federal and local funding, the Big Sioux River Watershed Project (BSRWP) is striving to reduce fecal coliform bacteria loadings into the Big Sioux River and tributaries between Watertown and Brandon by improving animal waste containment of facilities under 1,000 animal units. The BSRWP is offering a 75% cost share to animal feeding operators to obtain engineering designs. Once a design has been completed, the operator may apply for funding through the BSRWP Animal Waste Management System program for cost share assistance.


A conventional system is composed of a settling basin and a holding or evaporation pond
and is considered as a zero discharge facility. Although this type of facility is common, an
extensive soils investigation needs to be completed to determine if your site is adequate
for a holding or evaporation pond. The pond is built to handle the 25-year, 24 hour rainfall
event (~4 inches) and is lined in clay. This type of system can be cost shared through the
BSRWP at a rate of 75% grant/25% operator as long as total project cost does not exceed


An alternative system is composed of a settling basin and a vegetated filter strip and is not
considered a zero discharge facility. This type of system is new to South Dakota, but has
been shown to work in surrounding states. The settling basin would be built large enough to
hold the 25-year, 24 hour rainfall event and the vegetated filter strip will be large enough to
filter the runoff produced from the feedlot watershed area. The filter strip will be vegetated
with a perennial grass and will be harvested as needed. This system is ideal for locations that
are not suitable for a conventional system and can be cost shared at a rate of 75% grant/25%
landowner as long a total project cost does not exceed $150,000.


Mono slope and hoop barn systems can be an option for operators also. With a building based
system, all manure is contained in the dry form. These types of facilities are cost shared at a
rate of $150/head. Under certain conditions, a roofed facility can be cost shared up to 75% if
the facility will also serve the purpose of composting waste. The remaining balance up to
$150,000 available to the operator can be used to off set costs of lot relocation with the


If the operator is relocating his animal feeding operation, the original site will have to be reclaimed. The operator can use funds through the BSRWP to help pay for lot abandonment. The BSRWP can also cost share partial lot relocations.


By working with the BSRWP, the operator will obtain a nutrient management plan. The purpose of the nutrient management plan is to help the operator have a better understanding of when and where he/she will have the greatest impact to next year's crop.
Impaired segments include the entire stretch of the Big Sioux River between Watertown and Brandon, Willow Creek, Stray Horse Creek, Hidewood Creek, Peg Munky Run, North Deer Creek, Six Mile Creek, Spring Creek, Flandreau Creek, Jack Moore Creek, Pipestone Creek, Split Rock Creek, Beaver Creek and Skunk Creek.