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Business & Economics

Repairs cause water restrictions for Mni Wiconi system

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Bureau of Reclamation and Mni Wiconi Rural Water System

Users of the largest tribal water system in the United States face restrictions this week as repairs are made to a water pipeline.

The Bureau of Reclamation and Mni Wiconi Rural Water System are conducting repairs on the Mni Wiconi Core Water Pipeline in and around Fort Pierre. The restrictions are in place Tuesday through Thursday.

Patience Mosbrucker is the public involvement specialist for the Bureau of Reclamation's Dakotas Area Office.

“There have been ongoing water repairs in the impacted area for approximately a year," Mosbrucker said. "There have been a number of pipe leaks, so this is a measure in an effort to end those leaks. It will make the repairs more efficient to limit water usage.”

The restrictions affect all non-essential water usage, including but not limited to lawn watering, washing of vehicles, filling pools, spray tanks, etc.

The water restrictions will impact the following tribal and non-tribal rural water service providers:

  • West River/Lyman-Jones Rural Water.
  • Lower Brule Rural Water.
  • Rosebud Rural Water.
  • Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Water Maintenance and Conservation.

Those systems include all or parts of the counties of Stanley, Haakon, Lyman, Jones, Jackson, Mellette, Pennington, Todd, Bennett, and Oglala Lakota.

The Mni Wiconi water treatment system is the largest tribal water system in the United States, providing potable water to 10 counties in South Dakota through the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System.

The service area includes a 12,500-square-mile area, which is approximately one-sixth the total area of South Dakota.