MAP has assisted the Oglala Sioux Lakota Tribe with numerous water, wastewater and solid waste projects. Yesterday, MAP staff visited the Oglala Sioux Lakota Housing Authority, the newly renovated Pine Ridge lagoon system, and the lagoon system at Wounded Knee.
Pine Ridge is located in southwestern South Dakota and is the second largest reservation in the United States in area; approximately 3400 mi2. The reservation has very little economic development and receives a majority of its income from leasing of agricultural land. Currently, the Oglala Sioux Lakota Housing Authority is seeking federal assistance to renovate the Wounded Knee wastewater system. This system’s stabilization ponds were constructed in the late 1960’s and early ‘70’s. The ponds do not discharge wastewater/effluent. The interior liners of the ponds have been compromised and no longer function. As a result, the ponds hold little or no wastewater and allow most of the wastewater to escape to the local groundwater with little or no treatment. As a result the lagoon system has fallen out of EPA compliance. Pine Ridge has 16 wastewater systems. A study in 2007 showed many of these systems are in need of some level of renovation.