The EWB NoVa Chapter has been working with the Cedar Gulch 2 subdivision in South Dakota to assess technologies to provide safe drinking water to the residents for the past two and half years. The community’s drinking water supply regularly exceeds the Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) under EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act for total radium and alpha particles. Cedar Gulch 2 is a small community of ten homes and 27 residents located in Pennington County, South Dakota.
The Cedar Gulch 2 community currently draws their water from a deep well located on a neighboring ranch and does not own the water rights to this source. The community has also used a separate shallow well but this source has been decommissioned due to high total fecal coliform. EWB-NOVA provided the community with engineering services and recommendations based on a feasibility study and alternatives analysis. When the chapter and the community first partnered, the project team was tasked with determining the best form of treatment to be bring the community’s well water into compliance with the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act. Since delivering a recommendation to the Cedar Gulch II community, the project team has begun to tackle additional water systems issues such available water storage and maintaining constant water pressure throughout the system. A final assessment trip is currently planned for August 18th – 19th.
EWB NoVa’s community based organization partner in Cedar Gulch 2 is the Midwest Assistance Program, Inc. (MAP) South Dakota section. MAP’s mission is to help communities and tribal nations find solutions to their infrastructure and development needs through information, resource management, expertise and technical assistance. MAP is currently supporting Cedar Gulch, and their project role will be to work with regulatory agencies and other partners to address water quality issues and help secure funding.
Domestic Projects for EWB
The Community Engineering Corps (CEC) partners underserved U.S. communities with qualified project teams around the country. It is comprised of project teams from EWB, the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). This new partnership allows volunteers who’ve worked on international projects to bring their skills and experiences to nearby projects.
Partnership with SDSU
The Cedar Gulch Project Team has partnered with the SDSU Chapter and Senior Design Team in helping the small community in South Dakota. The project team will mentor the students as they conduct their own alternative analysis and design for the project. In return, the students will provide assistance in collecting information and conducting research. The partnership between the skilled group of professionals and the team of local students will undoubtedly lead to the best recommendation for the Cedar Gulch community.