Technical Bulletins

Technical Bulletins

901 User's Responsibility 902 Acceptable Connections
903 Reading Your Meter 904 Meter Pits
905 Over-pressurizing Water Heaters 906 Water Conservation
907 Things To Be Aware Of 908 Water Treatment Facilities
909 Yard Hydrants 910 Trench Settlement




This Bulletin provides guidelines for the connection of your existing water system to the Mid-Dakota Water System. The following is a checklist of those things that MUST be done before Mid-Dakota water service can be provided at your location:

  1. THE MID-DAKOTA MEMBER MUST HELP MID-DAKOTA PERSONNEL LOCATE UTILITIES in his yard area and agree upon a route for construction of the pipeline into the farm or home site tract. A Mid-Dakota representative will make contact with each member before construction is started in the yard area.
  2. YOU MUST ASSIST US IN SELECTING AN ACCEPTABLE SERVICE LOCATION, such as in a basement, crawl space, well pit, or utility room. Mid-Dakota personnel will assist you in determining the best practical location.
  3. DO NOT CONNECT your water system to the Mid-Dakota water line until you receive a written notice from Mid-Dakota! Mid-Dakota's pipeline may be stubbed into your basement, crawl space, well pit or utility room and capped. UNTIL MID-DAKOTA'S PIPELINES ARE FLUSHED, CLEANED AND CHLORINATED, we cannot provide water service to our members. Because of the high concentration of chlorine required to disinfect the lines, it may be HAZARDOUS for a member to hook on until that process was completed. You will be notified by mail when it is permissible to connect and use Mid-Dakota water.
  4. IF YOU DECIDE YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO RECONNECT YOUR WELL QUICKLY, please refer to the drawing showing a typical physical break swing pipe connection or Example No. 4 in Technical Bulletin 902. Under this type of hookup, you would be served either by Mid-Dakota or your existing water system, but both would not be connected together at the same time. This is to prevent "backflow" of water from your well into the Mid-Dakota water lines. State law due to health and safety concerns prohibits Backflows. Some members may express an interest in connecting the Mid-Dakota pipeline to their existing water system to allow for "simultaneous use" of either their well system or the Mid-Dakota water system. This type of connection is only allowed when using a properly installed Reduced Pressure Zone/Back-flow Preventer. (see below).

Another option is the use of a Reduced Pressure Zone Backflow Preventer (RPZ) which is shown as Example No. 3 in Technical Bulletin 902. This device, as well as any other method, must be installed in accordance with the State Plumbing Code. An RPZ must be tested annually by a certified backflow prevention technician and the results must be sent to Mid-Dakota Rural Water System, Inc. which will then forward it on to the proper authorities. All devices must be installed in strict compliance with Section 10.5.5 and maintained in accordance with Section 10.5.6 of the National Standard Plumbing Code. Failure to comply will result with a water disconnection until the problem is properly rectified. No RPZ or any other backflow prevention device can be placed in a location that could possibly be flooded. All operation, maintenance, replacement and testing is the responsibility of the water user.

IMPORTANT: If you are a water user engaged in a business or activities that may be considered a "High Hazard" should a back-flow or back-siphonage occur -you are required by SD Plumbing Code to install adequate protection i.e., air (physical) break or reduced pressure (physical) break or reduced pressure zone back flow preventer (RPZ).




  • IMPORTANT: Mid-Dakota recommends all connections from other sources of water must be disconnected. This is a requirement of the SD Plumbing Code unless as RPZ is used.
Example 1
Example 1
  Example 2Example 2
Example 3
Example 3
(Reduced Pressure Zone Backflow Preventor (RPZ))
  Example 4Example 4

For more information, contact Mid-Dakota at the telephone number below.





Mid-Dakota Rural Water has adopted a "Meter Reading Billing Collections" Policy. What this means for you as a customer is that you will need to read your own meter, Mid-Dakota will bill the customer and the customer will send the payment and stub along with the reading to Mid-Dakota.

Your remote meter reading device is usually located on a 4"x 4" treated post in the yard area close to the meter pit and looks similar to the drawings below. In some instances the remote may have been mounted on the side of your house or building.

Simply follow the instructions below to read your meter:

Read Meter

  1. Take paper, pencil or pen outside with you and locate your remote meter reading device.
  2. Jot down on paper the reading as it appears on the LED read-out on the remote.
  3. Record the reading in the "blank" boxes on your monthly statement.
  4. Detach the payment stub from your statement and send it along with payment and monthly meter reading to Mid-Dakota. We have provided you with Self Addressed Return Envelope.
  5. For any questions regarding your billing, contact Mid-Dakota at the telephone number below.





Meter Pit Example

The drawing shown at the right is an example of a typical meter pit installation. The pit is approximately 18 inches inside diameter, and approximately 7 feet deep. The pit comes pre-constructed and is placed by the contractor at a location agreed upon by Mid-Dakota inspectors and the homeowner. A coiled hose takes water from the Mid-Dakota line to the meter assembly and back down to the service line which is installed into the Mid-Dakota user's basement, well pit, or other agreed upon location. The meter assembly can be raised for maintenance and repair purposes and then lowered back down into the pit below the frost line. An insulating pillow and cast iron lid help protect the meter from freezing in the winter. A "remote readout" assembly is wired to the meter and installed near the meter pit lid. The Mid-Dakota user reads this "remote readout" when determining his monthly water bill, and does not have to raise the meter assembly. We are using this style of meter pit, outside of a basement or home. It decreases the chances of leakage causing damage to the home or basement. It also reduces maintenance cost because Mid-Dakota repairmen can work on the meter whether the Mid-Dakota member is at home or not

This type of meter assembly has been used successfully on the Tri County and WEB Rural Water Systems in South Dakota for many years. They report good success with the meter pit assembly and have had very few maintenance or freezing problems. IMPORTANT: Once installed, the user becomes responsible for protecting the meter assembly and pit.

Livestock Connection Example

The drawing shown at the right is an example of a typical livestock installation/connection. For Initial Seasonal Cabin and Livestock water user hookups, the water user shall be responsible for connecting his private system at the Water User Connection Point (typically a short "stub out" from the meter pit). Frost free hydrants shall not be installed at less than 15 feet from the meter pit. The water user shall maintain the Corporation's pressure regulator adjustment to provide 45 psi or less at the Water User Connection Point. The water user shall be responsible for his or her own plumbing and connections made to the Mid-Dakota system and shall comply with the State of South Dakota's Plumbing Code requirements. The Corporation requires that the user's connection be made with a "physical break" between his or her existing water source and the Mid-Dakota system.




The Mid-Dakota pipeline installation at all Rural Household, Municipal Household and Seasonal Household hook-up sites include a check-valve/back-flow preventer located at the meter pit. An additional check-valve/back-flow preventer may have been installed in your basement or well pit by your independent plumbing contractor (depending upon the plumbers work practices).

Check-valve/Back-flow preventers are designed to prevent water from "flowing back" into the community water system (Mid-Dakota Rural Water System). They are installed to protect you from liability, and prevent possible accidental contamination of a community water system.

One of the drawbacks of the check-valve/back-flow preventer is, they can contribute to pressure build up in water heaters located in the users home. Mid-Dakota water delivered to the user comes into the home at a cool temperature. The water heated in the water heater expands. If the check valves in the meter pit (and in the basement or well pit as applicable) are close to the water heater, and/or if there is no place for the water pressure from the hot water heater to back up to, pressure can build up in the water heater and hot water pipes. If the water heater is set high and the hot water has no place to expand the "discharge valve" on the water heater should allow for release of the excess pressure. Discharge valves are not made to accommodate constant high-pressure conditions and may wear out or fail if this happens often. If the discharge valve is stuck (not uncommon on older water heaters), pressure could build up in the water heater and hot water lines and cause them to burst.

If you notice a burst of high pressure when you turn on the hot water at the bathroom or kitchen sink, the water heater should be checked. You should check the discharge valve on the water heater to make sure it is functioning properly (they are relatively inexpensive to replace).

If you have a problem with an over pressured water heater, you should contact your local plumber or plumbing supply (hardware) store and consider installation of an "Expansion Tank" on your plumbing system.

How expansion tanks work: The tank comes with a diaphragm installed under air pressure. When the water in the water heater expands it back-flows into the expansion tank. When hot water is used and the pressure is reduced the air pressure in the diaphragm forces the water back out of the expansion tank. Expansion tanks come in varying sizes and cost depends upon certain factors. Call your local plumber for an estimate.

Example of an Expansion Tank Installation:

Expansion Tank Diagram Expansion Tank Diagram Expansion Tank Diagram
Expansion Tank Diagram




On October 30, 1992, Public Law 102-575 was passed authorizing Mid-Dakota Rural Water System, Inc. The authorization contains provisions that conservation measures are to be used so that water waste will be minimized. These measures are outlined in the law and federal funding was contingent on Mid-Dakota developing a plan of implementation. Mid-Dakota Rural Water System, Inc. and the consumer both have obligations that must be met and this is our attempt to explain those obligations to you.

Public Law 102-575 Section 1905. WATER CONSERVATION

(a) Withholding of Funds. - The Secretary shall not obligate Federal funds for construction of the water system until the Secretary finds that non-Federal entities have developed and implemented water conservation programs throughout the service area of the water system.

(b) Purpose of Programs. - The water conservation programs required by subsection (a) shall be designed to ensure that users of water from the water system will use the best practicable technology and management techniques to reduce water use and water system costs.

(c) Description of Programs. - Such water conservation programs shall include (but are not limited to) adoption and enforcement of the following:

(1) low consumption performance standards for all newly installed plumbing fixtures.

When replacing plumbing fixtures, it is required that the consumer uses the following criteria:

  • 2.5 gallons per minute or less at 80 psi shower heads or shower head flow rate restrictors on all existing shower heads.
  • 2.5 gallons per minute or less at 80 psi in bathrooms and 2.5 gallons per minute or less at 80 psi in kitchens.
  • Toilet tank dams or displacement bags in all existing toilet tanks unless toilet is 3.0 gallons per flush or less.

Mid-Dakota Rural Water System may provide retrofit kits which may include all or some of the following items:

Flow Restrictors/Aerators - these can be attached to existing faucets to reduce the flow of water through to tap. 12% of your indoor household water usage is from faucets.

Flow Resrictror

Low-Flow Shower Heads - these can be an especially useful tool in conservation. Showerheads account for 21% of your typical indoor water use. Some showerheads have trickle shut-off valves or levers. They allow the user to reduce the water flow to a minimum trickle while maintaining the desired hot/cold water mix. This convenient feature is especially useful during an activity such as soaping one's hair or body and allows for additional water savings.

Low-Flow Shower Head

Toilet Displacement Bags - a simple technique to save water using a plastic bag filled with water that is placed in the toilet tank. A displacement bag can save as much as 1200 gallons per year. Many of the displacement bag kits include dye tablets to check for leaks which account for 5% of your typical indoor water use while toilets account for 28%.

Displacement Bag




When the long awaited day finally arrives and your home is connected to the Mid-Dakota Rural Water System, the last thing you as a member or Mid-Dakota as a service provider wants is to be dissatisfied with your new water system. With any new system there will need to be some "adjustments" and "conditioning" that will need to occur. The following is an attempt to explain some of these:

  2. PROTECTION OF FISH IN AN AQUARIUM: Again use of Chloramine as a disinfectant aid, may likely require the use of a different chemical neutralizer for your aquarium. Mid-Dakota has contacted a number of Pet Stores and the most common recommendation we received for the neutralizing of Chloramine is an aquarium additive called "AmQell." Mid-Dakota recommends that before you fill a fish aquarium with water supplied by Mid-Dakota that you contact the pet store where you purchase your aquarium supplies and ask for their recommendations for protecting your fish.

    Fish Aquariaum

  3. MID-DAKOTA TURNED ON MY TAP AND THE WATER TASTES "FUNNY": Many new customers may indeed encounter a "funny taste" when they are first connected to the Mid-Dakota System. This is not unusual. Construction techniques used by our contractors include the use of a pipe-joint lubricant when connecting two pieces of pipe together. The lubricant, which is specially manufactured to be safe for human consumption and will not enhance the chance of bacteria growth, may impart a taste to the water temporarily. The taste has been described in many ways - but usually when a new customer calls the office and describes the problem - we know immediately that the problem is likely the lubricant or "pipe-soap" as it is often referred. The most common description of this taste is a "soapy / oily" taste. Mid-Dakota does flush your line prior to connection, however, it may take a number of days or even weeks (depending upon the length of the pipeline serving you) to fully flush the lubricant from your system.

    Pipe Soap

  4. AFTER CONNECTING TO MID-DAKOTA MY WATER HAS CHANGED COLOR: Some of Mid-Dakota's customers may notice a slight "reddish" or "brown" color of the water from their faucets. In many cases this is normal. Your previous water supply may have been high in TDS (total dissolved solids) and mineral scaling may have occurred in your existing household plumbing. When a low TDS water such as Mid-Dakota is introduced to the existing plumbing system it will have a tendency to act as a solvent to the scaling. You may have to tolerate this "cleansing" for some time until this otherwise normal reaction has run its course. A thorough initial flushing of the home plumbing system may help - but ultimately only time will solve this problem.

    Water Color

  5. NOW THAT MID-DAKOTA IS HERE I CAN GET RID OF MY WATER SOFTENER: Mid-Dakota's water is quite soft. Generally running between 13 and 15 grain hard (221 to 255 parts-per-million). While this is considerably softer than a majority of existing ground water in the Mid-Dakota area, we still recommend that you "experiment" a little before getting rid of your water softener. Many people, even with a much harder water supply may have been softening down to zero or near zero hardness. Introducing a "un-softened" water supply, even one as soft as Mid-Dakota may "feel" hard to you if you had previously softened down to near zero hardness. Mid-Dakota recommends that you check with your water-conditioning professional regarding properly setting the frequency of regeneration of your water softener. You will likely find that you will not need to regenerate your softener as often - thereby saving you money in softening salt. Generally, once a week, for one to three persons in a household and twice a week, for four to five persons should be sufficient. Again, contact your water-conditioning professional for more specific recommendations.

    Water Softener




The Mid-Dakota Rural Water System water treatment plant serves water from Lake Oahe to all or part of 13 counties or approximately 7000 square miles of east central South Dakota. The plant has a capacity of 9 million gallons per day using the direct filtration method.

The intake pumps take water from Lake Oahe and pump it to the raw water storage tanks. From the raw water storage tanks, the water gravity flows to the water treatment plant, first passing through the chemical feed building located next to the raw water tanks. Potassium permanganate and chlorine may be added at the chemical feed building. Potassium permanganate is used to remove iron and manganese and has some taste and odor control properties. The removal of iron and manganese helps to prevent laundry and plumbing fixtures from being stained. Mid-Dakota water has very low levels of iron and manganese when compared to most ground waters in the surrounding area. Chlorine is fed at this station when the water temperature is cold and more contact time with the disinfectant is needed. State surface water treatment rules require that disinfectants be in contact with the water for a certain period of time depending on water temperature and pH.

As the water enters the plant, a coagulant (ferric sulfate or aluminum sulfate in our case) and, at times, a polymer are added to form a pin floc. Flocculation is the process where small particles in the raw water "floc" together with the coagulant and polymer forming larger particles that are easily filtered out. Chlorine is also added at this point. The water then enters the flocculation basins where the pin floc is formed. The basins also provide contact time with the disinfectant and the water. The water then passes through the media filters, which remove the pin floc particles. The water now heads toward the clearwell. On its way, chlorine is added to adjust the disinfectant residual for the distribution system. Fluoride is added for strong teeth. Caustic soda, a sodium based chemical, is added to stabilize the water to prevent the water from corroding or scaling the distribution piping. Ammonia is added for the conversion to a combined chlorine residual (chloramine) to minimize disinfection by-products and form a more stable disinfectant that lasts longer. To further explain, the ammonia combines with any free chlorine in the water. If ammonia wasn't combined with the chlorine, chlorine could combine with organic matter in the water and form trihalomethanes in excess of EPA standards, which some studies suggest, increases the risk of cancer. A longer lasting disinfectant is needed to maintain a chlorine residual in our large distribution system. Chloramine disinfection is more practical than ozone. With ozone there is no residual disinfectant for the distribution system and it is expensive to generate. From the clearwell, water is pumped throughout the distribution system.

The dosages for chemicals are in parts per million (ppm). To put one ppm in perspective; it would be the same as one inch in sixteen miles or one minute in two years. The following are the average dosages for the chemicals used in our process. Chlorine dosage is 5.3 ppm, which gives us a 3.5-4.0 ppm residual leaving the plant. Potassium permanganate dosage is 1.0-2.0 ppm when it is fed, coagulant dosage is 5.0 ppm, polymer dosage is 0.2 ppm, caustic soda dosage is 2.5 ppm, fluoride dosage is 1.0 ppm and ammonia dosage is 1.7 ppm.

The maximum dosages recommended by the National Sanitation Foundation are 30.0 ppm for chlorine, 50.0 ppm for potassium permanganate, 100.0 ppm for the coagulant, 50.0 ppm for polymer, 100.0 ppm for caustic soda, 6.0 ppm for fluoride and 5.0 ppm for ammonia.

The State requires us to have between 0.9 and 1.7 ppm of fluoride in the drinking water with 1.2 ppm being optimal. Our fluoride concentration as been right at 1.2 ppm. EPA requires us to have no more than 4.0 ppm of chlorine leaving the plant. Our residual leaving the plant has been 3.5-4.0 ppm. The amount of dirt or suspended matter in our water is measured in turbidity units, which is the industry standard. The limit we must achieve is 0.50. The turbidity units on our finished water averages 0.08-0.15, which is well below the State's limit for our system.

As you can see our dosages meet the EPA requirements and are well below the limits set by the National Sanitation Foundation. In large dosages, many of the chemicals can be harmful. Imagine if the water wasn't clean or disinfected. The health risks would be much greater than the small amounts of chemicals that we use to provide quality drinking water.




In order to facilitate good user relations, Mid-Dakota is willing to consider having its contractor(s) install yard hydrants at rural household locations. Yard hydrants at rural household locations, must be located adjacent to service lines, at a point between the meter pit and the house. The following is an outline providing the general conditions of installing a yard hydrant at rural household locations:

  1. The User agrees to pay all associated costs of the yard hydrant installation to Mid-Dakota.
  2. The hydrant shall be installed in a location which is accessible to the type of equipment the contractor has on site and which is approved by Mid-Dakota personnel.
  3. No additional underground utility crossings are required to install the yard hydrant.
  4. The location is within 25 feet of the service line.
  5. An (approved) atmospheric vacuum breaker will be installed on all yard hydrants installed by Mid-Dakota or its contractor and that the user will pay the cost of the vacuum breaker to be supplied by Mid-Dakota and/or Mid-Dakota's Contractor. It is further understood that if additional measures to provide adequate protection from "cross connection" is recommended or required, to be in compliance with National and State Standard Plumbing Codes, the User will be responsible for any corrective measures needed.
  6. Once installed, the yard hydrant becomes the property of the User and he/she assumes ALL responsibility and liability for the hydrant.

Nothing in this policy bulletin shall be construed as a requirement that Mid-Dakota provide or facilitate the installation of yard hydrants. Mid-Dakota at its sole and exclusive discretion may approve or deny the installation of yard hydrants.


Yard Hydrant Install




Mounded Trench
Eroded Soil
Repacked Trench

During construction, a trench is dug to place the pipeline and then the pipe is covered with dirt. The dirt is mounded over the trench (See Illustration 1) to ensure that there will be enough dirt to avoid a depression when the soil begins to settle. In cultivated fields where the mound over the trench has been flattened out during farming, there is a very strong possibility that the dirt will settle leaving a large trench that equipment could fall into. When the trench has been disturbed in this way, the contractor's responsibility for backfill settlement could be voided. The ideal situation would be for the farmers to leave the strip alone and allow natural settlement of the mounded soils. It is a given that there will be settlement on the pipeline at some time. The length of time it takes for the soils to settle depends in large part on the weather conditions. If it is dry, more than likely it will take a longer time to settle than if the conditions are wet. Usually, within one year after completion of construction, hopefully after the trench has settled and the soils have naturally compacted, (See Illustration 2) the contractor will again go over the trench and gently mound it again a second time. (See Illustration 3) If a crop is in the field at the time the contractor is working in a given area, the contractor will not go over that area without your permission. This is the final pass that is required of the contractor.

When there is settlement, landowners are welcomed and encouraged to contact Mid-Dakota so the settlement can be documented and included on the final list of tasks for the contractor. When a call is made, a complaint form is filled out and faxed to the field office. A follow up letter is sent to the landowner along with a copy of the complaint form that was filled out. The complaint is then filed at the home office for future reference. It may take some time before the settling is taken care of depending in large part as to the amount of work that needs to be done. The contractor generally likes to work in one area and then move to another instead of mobilizing to scattered destinations. Settlement is an unfortunate but necessary part of the construction process. Dealing with settlement is a team effort and needs the cooperation of Mid-Dakota Rural Water System, Inc., the landowner and the contractor.