Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil Engineering


Much attention has been focused on protecting surface bodies of water from human and animal sources of pollution. In states similar to South Dakota, animal pollutants, may be potentially a much greater hazard to surface waters than are human sources of pollutants. For the preceding reason much consideration has been directed towards methods to control pollution from animal sources. The cattle feedlot is considered by some as one of the largest reservoirs for contaminants able to reach surface bodies of waters. A feedlot can be generally described as an enclosed area where cattle are concentrated for the purpose of preslaughter fattening. Animals may also be concentrated into small areas similar to feedlots for pre-shipment storage or for wintering operations. Sanitary hazards caused by the accumulation of feedlot wastes can be in the form of fly breeding, odors, dust, animal health, or potential water pollution. Many of the above factors may be controlled by proper management of the solid portion of feedlot wastes and by proper management of the runoff originating on and flowing over the feedlot surface. The solid portion may be removed by cleaning operations. A feedlot pollution control facility was put into operation in October, 1971, at the South Dakota State University campus in order to control the runoff from the Beef Breeding Unit (BBU) located on the northern edge of the campus. The system at the BBU employed a diversion ditch and drying terraces. The ditch acted as a collector channel to carry the runoff originating at the BEU to the drying terraces. The channel was also to serve as a debris basin where the velocity of the runoff could be slowed and the solids allowed to settle. The general objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of the terraces on the groundwater quality in the vicinity of the BBU. The more specific objectives of the study were to determine: (a) The direction of groundwater flow in the vicinity of the terraces; (b) The proper location for placement of sampling and control wells to evaluate the effect of the terraces on the groundwater in the vicinity; and (c) The extent of groundwater quality changes in the vicinity of the terraces. Little was known concerning the soil conditions of the vicinity of the terraces, the type of aquifer that would be encountered in the area, the effects of other possible sources of groundwater contamination in the vicinity of the terraces, the groundwater quality prior to the installation of the terraces. For these reasons, it was recognized that the objectives of the study might not be achieved.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Groundwater flow -- South Dakota

Feedlot runoff -- South Dakota

Groundwater -- Pollution -- South Dakota

Groundwater -- South Dakota --Sampling

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University