Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

James N. Dornbush


One of the highest priority uses of water is, of course, its ingestion to sustain life. It is expected that through conventional water treatment an abundance of drinking water will be produced free from pathogenic organisms, free from scale-forming substances, free from toxic chemicals, free from corrosion and corrosion products and free from aesthetically offensive substances. If these freedoms of water quality can be met at a fraction of the expense of conven­tional water treatment by using the natural environment, serious attention should be focused accordingly. In eastern South Dakota, particularly the Brookings area of the Big Sioux River Basin, large-scale gravel mines have been excavating, screening and transporting huge quantities of gravel from the area for the past twenty years. Gravel is mined from below the ground water table to create large permanent ponds or lakes. As the groundwater is exposed to the atmosphere the dissolved carbon dioxide escapes, which raises the pH and precipitates calcium carbonate thus reducing the hardness and -alkalinity. Also, as the pond water becomes saturated with dissolved oxygen, the metals of iron and manganese are oxidized to their insoluble forms and they settle out. These largescale gravel excavations into a shallow aquifer such as the Big Sioux aquifer therefore can be expected to have substantial impacts on the quality of ground water passing through the area. In a previous study, Kothari collected samples from a local gravel pit pond and compared its water quality with the raw and treated water quality data from the Brookings East Water Treatment Plant. Kothari concluded that, the open body of water, due to gravel excavation, had a superior chemical water quality than the wells sup­plying water for the City of Brookings, and he recommended that further investigation on the impact of gravel excavation on ground water quality should be instigated. The research presented herein was undertaken with the following objectives in mind: (a) To determine the seasonal quality variation of ground water moving through a large-scale gravel excavation with respect to the suitability as a supplemental public water supply, and, (b) To derive conclusions about the variability due to various sampling dates and locations with respect to particular parameters, within the sampling area.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Groundwater -- Quality



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State