Spring Creek Watershed Restoration
Keeping streams clean in the Black Hills.
Approximately 1.5 to 2 million people visit the Black Hills of South Dakota annually to enjoy its attractions and history. Water resources in the Black Hills are vital because they provide health, economic, ecologic, agriculture, and recreation benefits. RESPEC worked with Pennington County and other local stakeholders on a watershed restoration project within the Spring Creek Watershed located in the Black Hills.
Elevated concentrations of bacteria in the stream led RESPEC to develop a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study, which is required by the Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Water Act. The TMDL determined that the bacteria originated from leaking and failing septic systems as well as livestock and wildlife in and adjacent to the stream. After the study was completed, RESPEC staff worked with the local community to obtain funding to implement the restoration efforts, conducted stream sampling, provided stream-restoration design, developed planning strategies, and conducted public outreach efforts.