Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

James N. Dornbush


Protection on our nation’s streams and lakes has received high priority during the last 20 years. Modernization has provided people with more leisure time. With more free time people have begun to utilize lakes and rivers as recreational facilities, requiring that pollution of such facilities be prevented. To control pollution and restore waterways, laws such as the Water Quality Act of 1965, Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 and the Clean Water Act of 1977 have been implemented. Such laws have forced polluters to establish treatment for their wastewaters. No longer is the open discharge of wastes into streams and rivers allowed. To provide treatment, industries and cities have turned to a variety of treatment processes. Larger cities, with considerable volumes of wastewaters, have frequently relied on processes such as activated sludge, trickling filters and the oxidation ditch, to meet requirements of pollution control laws. Sealing of stabilization ponds with bentonite or other sealants is an expensive undertaking and complete success is not assured. Furthermore, such sealing would frequently result in discharges to surface waters. If it can be demonstrated that adequate treatment or dilution occurs as pond seepage passes through the soil, huge financial benefits could result. For these reasons, it was proposed that the results of previous studies related to stabilization ponds with excessive seepage be reviewed. Also collection and analysis of additional samples at previously-sampled sites would be undertaken to confirm existing data or to further define the adverse influence, if any, of pond seepage on surface and/or groundwater. The specific objectives of the research were as follows: 1. To evaluate existing data concerning groundwater quality degradation in the vicinity of stabilization ponds in South Dakota. 2. To update available groundwater quality data and evaluate present water degradation in the vicinity of selected surface impoundments. 3. To determine present and long-term impacts of seepage from impoundments would receive special attention particularly the discharge of nitrates to groundwaters and ammonia to surface waters. 4. To suggest if appropriate, changes in existing design criteria that would combine treatment concepts from both the stabilization-pond and infiltration-percolation concepts into an innovative or alternative treatment technology.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sewage lagoons
Groundwater -- Quality




South Dakota State University