Wastewater Services


Industrial Pretreatment Program

Industries and businesses located or planning to locate in Brookings are required to comply with the local Sewer Use Rules and Regulations. The local pretreatment program was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. If there are question about these regulations or you would like a copy of those regulations, please contact the Pretreatment Administrator at (605) 693-3287.

Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Brookings Wastewater Treatment Plant is located three miles south of the Brookings community. It is an extended aeration, activated sludge treatment plant. The Wastewater Treatment Plant was upgrading during 2013-2015.

Wastewater Collection

Wastewater is collected throughout the city and flows with the aid of several lift stations and gravity to the treatment plant through underground collection lines.


Once at the plant, the wastewater is lifted from the collection lines into the facility by 54” screw pumps. Once inside the plant, the wastewater passes through 1) a fine screen to remove debris, 2) aerated grit chambers to remove sand and gravel, 3) a flow measuring flume. Collectively, these are referred to as pretreatment.

Primary Treatment

Following pretreatment, wastewater flows to the primary clarifiers for removal of the easily settleable solids (also known as primary treatment).

Biological Treatment

The clarified wastewater continues on through the biological treatment process. Following the primary clarifiers, the wastewater is pumped to aeration basins using screw pumps. The aeration basins provide the necessary environment for micro-organisms to grow and feed on the organic matter in the wastewater. These organisms, as a group, are called activated sludge.

The next process is to separate the wastewater from the activated sludge. The separation takes place in large settling basins (also known as secondary clarifiers). The microorganisms settle to the bottom of the basins and are pumped out to be used again in the aeration basins.

The clarified water is cleaned further by passing through disk filters. After filtration, the water is disinfected with ultraviolet light.

Discharge into the Big Sioux River

The water is discharged to the Big Sioux River. The water released into the river is clear in color, exceeding the turbidity level of the river itself. This discharge into the river meets state and federal regulations.

Sump Pump Usage

Brookings Municipal Utilities rules and city ordinance 16-93 require Brookings wastewater customers to route their sump pumps out of the sanitary sewer system between March 15th and October 15th each year. Utility personnel begin inspections for compliance on March 20th. The fine for users found to be in non-compliance is up to $200 per day.

Locating Underground Utilities

If you are planning to do any digging in excess of 12 inches on your property, please call 811 for a locate request. Brookings Municipal Utilities will locate electric, water and sewer lines at no charge. The request procedure will take between ten to thirty minutes.

Camel / Jet Vacuum

Our Camel / Jet Vacuum is a large truck with a big tank and a hose that goes over the cab.

The Camel is used to clean out wastewater lines that may have been clogged with roots and/or blockage from grit and debris. The Camel has two tanks, one with fresh water to flush out debris and the other to collect and hold debris. High-pressure water pushes a line through the blockage. When it’s pulled back it drags back the debris and the large hose that is over the cab vacuums it up.

Camera Inspection

The Wastewater Department does periodic camera work on wastewater lines. Inspection allows us to find cracks, collapsed lines, root problems and leaking service lines.

By using the camera we are able to locate problems and correct them before they become major problems. The Water and Wastewater Department is responsible for 130 miles of water lines and 115 miles of wastewater lines.

Report a Problem

If you are having any problems with the quality of water at your home or business, such as rusty water or low water pressure, please call (605)697-8418 and let us know. We will be happy to come to your home, or let you know what needs to be done. Sometimes it is something that can be fixed with information supplied by the Service Department over the Phone.