South Dakota tables bill seeking to eliminate pump installer licensure

February 5, 2021

A bill in the South Dakota House of Representatives that would have eliminated the need for licensure requirements for water well pump installers is dead after the South Dakota House Committee on Energy and Commerce voted to table it in a House Commerce and Energy Committee meeting on February 3.

The committee voted to move Senate Bill 50, “Repeal the Requirement for a Well Pump Installer License,” to the 41st day of the legislature. However, as there are only 40 days scheduled each year, the move essentially kills the bill.

The bill was introduced in the Senate on January 12 and passed the full Senate on January 25. It was pushed by the South Dakota Department of Natural Resources to eliminate regulations and licensing the agency deemed unnecessary.

NGWA submitted a letter opposing the bill on February 2. In it, NGWA wrote: “No part of the process in providing groundwater to communities is insignificant or nonessential to protecting the health and safety of the water. Improper installation of any instrument, including a water well pump, could lead to thousands of dollars in property damage or worse, a contaminated water supply.”

The South Dakota Well Drillers Association also successfully organized and fought against the bill as it had several members reach out to their elected officials and speak out on the importance of licensure.

taylor-randyThe SDWDA effort was led by Randy Taylor (pictured at right), vice president of Taylor Drilling Co. in Rapid City, South Dakota, and the executive secretary of the association. Taylor also served as NGWA president in 2004 and was awarded NGWA’s Robert Storm Intersectional Cooperation Award in 2006, which is presented to a person whose activities contribute to promoting collaboration, enhance cooperation, and foster community among all groundwater professionals.

The bill is not expected to be revisited by the South Dakota Senate anytime soon.

“NGWA believes maintaining licensure standards is the best and most efficient to protect our nation’s groundwater and ensure the health and safety of those who depend on it,” said NGWA CEO Terry S. Morse, CAE, CIC. “We are proud to work with our friends in South Dakota, and the entire industry, in fighting against this bill.”

NGWA has a voluntary pump installer certification program. Click here to learn more.