Study of Stormwater Runoff in Rapid City, SD

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Detailed Description

Author interview on stormwater runoff report for Rapid City, SD (U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5069. The U.S. Geological Survey completed a study of stormwater in Rapid City during 2008-2014 in cooperation with the City of Rapid City.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:02

Location Taken: Rapid City, SD, US


I’m Galen Hoogestraat, a hydrologist for
the U.S. Geological Survey in Rapid City,


Managing stormwater runoff is an important
job for municipalities in charge of developing

infrastructure for their community.

Stormwater discharges are usually high in
sediments, bacteria, and other pollutants

that accumulate on streets, parking lots,
rooftops, and gutters, which are then washed

off into storm drains during rain events and
eventually end up in our rivers – such as

Rapid Creek here in Rapid City.

I worked on a study of stormwater in Rapid
City during 2008-2014, where we collected

hundreds of water samples and described the
current level of pollutants that are entering

Rapid Creek.

Rapid Creek is an important resource, as it
provides opportunities for trout fishing,

as well as for swimming, tubing, and other
recreational uses.

Concentrations of bacteria and total suspended
solids that exit stormwater outfalls are typically

1-2 orders of magnitude greater than recommended
levels for Rapid Creek.

The wetland channel is an example of a best-management-practice,
or a strategy designed to reduce pollutant

loads that enter our streams.

Instead of being routed directly into Rapid
Creek, stormwater is diverted through a wetland,

where the vegetation slows the water and removes
a portion of the sediments and pollutants.

In our study, we found that these channels
reduced pollutants such as total suspended

solids, metals and nutrients by about 30–60

This information demonstrates the effectiveness
of these practices at improving the conditions

of Rapid Creek, and hopefully will encourage
similar treatment devices in future developments.

A report which contains these results can
be found on our webpage,,

or by searching for “USGS stormwater runoff
in Rapid City”.