South Dakota Metrology Lab

The South Dakota State Metrology Laboratory serves as the basis for providing equity in the marketplace.  The Laboratory maintains custody and safekeeping of the South Dakota Primary Standards of mass and volume and provides measurement services for enforcement of weights and measures regulations by testing and calibrating all working standards used by State Inspection staff.  The Lab also provides calibration services for service agencies that install and calibrate scales and liquid measuring devices used in retail throughout the state.

The integrity, stability, and adequacy of the laboratory's standards and equipment are monitored through continuous surveillance and evaluated and audited by the National Institute of Standards and Technology annually. Compliance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology criteria is indicated by a NIST Certificate of Metrological Traceability that recognizes the laboratory as having the required quality system, facilities, standards, and staff to provide accurate measurement services traceable to the International System of Units (SI) through national standards.  For questions or to schedule a calibration, contact us or call (605) 347-7541.

The lab is currently recognized by NIST to perform calibrations in the following areas:

Mass Echelon II

  • 5 kg to 1 mg
  • 10 lb to 0.001 lb
  • 8 oz to 0.03125 oz

Mass Echelon III

  • 30 kg to 1 mg
  • 1000 lb to 0.001 lb
  • 8 oz to 0.03125 oz
  • Weight carts 2000 lb to 5000 lb

Volume Transfer Echelon II

  • 1500 gallons to 5 gallons
  • 100 gallons to 25 gallons LPG

Scheduling & Fees

Calibration services must be scheduled, usually one to two months in advance. Small quantities and singular items can normally be worked into the schedule with less notice. The lab's goal is to turn around items within the same week they are received.

All standards delivered to the metrology laboratory must be clean, painted (where necessary) and in good repair. Cleaning and/or repair of standards in the metrology laboratory will add considerably to the calibration cost.

The metrology lab fee is $96.00/hour. See inspection fees for more information.


Mass Standards

  • Cast iron weights should be free of rust, loose paint and adhering debris.
  • Cast iron weights should be painted with a light coat of paint (aluminum for avoirdupois and gold for metric weights). Do not use epoxy or enamel paints.
  • Stainless steel weights can be wiped down with an ethanol-dampened rag.
  • If “as found” values are desired before painting, two tests may be required. In this case, contact the laboratory prior to cleaning and painting.


Volumetric Standards

  • Volume  field test measures must be cleaned inside and out with a mild detergent.
  • Make sure the glass gauge tube is clean, and the gauge scale plate is readable.
  • Provers and test measures cannot be tested if they are received with leaks, large dents, or badly corroded interiors.



It is the customer's responsibility to arrange shipment of their standards to and from the laboratory. Large items shipped by commercial trucking must use pallets. You must call in advance with an expected arrival date and time to ensure our staff will be available to receive your standards. Small individual items packed in shipping boxes should be wrapped well or protected with appropriate packing materials. Foam peanuts are not acceptable. Small weight kits should be secured to prevent opening during shipment.

Items can be shipped to:

State Metrology Laboratory
1100 Otter Road, Bldg D
Sturgis, SD 57785

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