Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil Engineering


The milk processing industry commonly produces large quantities of high-strength waste. Frequently, a milk processing plant is located in a small agricultural community in which it is the only sizable industry. Because of this, the wastewater from the milk plant may cause overloading of the wastewater treatment facilities of the community. This situation exists in Volga, a small town in eastern South Dakota. The city of Volga, with an estimated 1967 population of 840, has been treating the domestic wastewater plus the industrial waste from the relatively large milk processing plant by utilizing a stabilization pond system. This type of treatment has been widely used in this area because it is an economical and reliable method of treating wastewater from small cities. However, for satisfactory operation, biological treatment in the stabilization pond must proceed aerobically. A high-strength industrial waste can overload a stabilization pond system and cause the pond to turn anaerobic. Noisome odors and high turbidity generally accompany anaerobic conditions. Many residents of Volga were dissatisfied with their present wastewater treatment system because of the offensive odors corning from the lagoons. The lagoon location near an arterial highway gave travelers an unfavorable impression of the city. In addition to this problem, a pump failure had caused wastewater to back up into the basements of several of these homes. In response to these complaints, the city engaged the consulting firm of J. T. Banner and Associates to evaluate the existing system and to advise the city on needed improvements. From their investigation the consultants: concluded that the stabilization ponds were overloaded. Because 'of this, the quality of the effluent being discharged into the Big Sioux River did not comply with the water quality standards established by the State of South Dakota. The consultants recommended among other things that the city install an aerated lagoon which would precede the existing stabilization pond system. However, because of their concern for treatment efficiency during the winter, the State Department of Health officials were hesitant to approve the installation of an aerated lagoon at Volga. The wintertime operation of an aerated lagoon had been investigated by John Lowthian (1), a graduate student in sanitary engineering at South Dakota State University. Because Lowthian reported favorably concerning operation and BOD removal, the consultant continued to seek approval for an aerated lagoon. After further discussions with the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration (FWPCA) and the State Department of Health, approval was obtained for the aerated lagoon on condition that the efficiency of the aerated lagoons be evaluated for all seasonal conditions. Preliminary investigations indicated that a large portion of the organic loading at the Volga waste treatment plant was contributed by the milk processing plant and that the domestic waste was mainly diluting the milk processing wastes. The purpose of this study was to determine the treatability of this combined milk waste in an aerated lagoon.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sewage lagoons -- South Dakota -- Volga
Water -- Waste
Sewage disposal plants -- South Dakota -- Volga



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University