News this past week that the state Health Department has cited two companies for dumping raw sewage in fields and ditches is disturbing to say the least.
Mon-Dak Water and Septic Services and Hurley Oilfield Services were cited for illegally dumping more than 500,000 gallons of raw sewage from oil drilling locations and crew camp locations. The Health Department's investigation into the matter continues, and officials have said the companies will be fined.
There are rules and regulations for properly disposing of sewage, and company officials have said they are working to improve their disposal techniques. The issue, they say, is the growing volume of waste being generated in the booming oil field.
We're aware of the growing need for waste disposal sites, and it's a problem that's likely to get worse as companies continue to expand. The companies must simply be better stewards of the land and environment in western North Dakota. Let's hope these are isolated incidents, although we're not naive enough to think that it won't happen again.
There's simply no excuse for such practices, and the state Health Department needs to levy hefty fines against the companies.