Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

James N. Dornbush


The national concern for the safety of America’s drinking water supply was renewed in 1974 by the passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The concern for water supply source protection had also begun especially in rapidly developing areas. Because of these limitations, source protection is regarded as a major step in protecting a present or future water supply from contamination. Thus, the knowledge of both ground and surface water movement near a present or future source of water and the potential of its contamination is very important. A large groundwater source, known as the Big Sioux Aquifer, exists in eastern South Dakota. This aquifer is known for its numerous sand and gravel deposits. For the last twenty years or so, gravel mining has occurred in this aquifer near the eastern edge of Brookings, South Dakota. These excavations have produced a series of permanent ponds which have stirred interest as to their impact on groundwater quality and movement in the area. Three recent thesis studies by Kothari, Rasmussen, and Perry have been completed that studied these effects. During the summer of 1984 Kothari found that the water quality in the Everist gravel pit was superior, in some respects, to that of the raw and treated well water supply currently being used by the City of Brookings. During 1984 Rasmussen studied the seasonal chemical variations of groundwater moving through the Everist gravel pit. Kothari, Rasmussen, and Perry concluded that the Everist gravel pit contained water that was chemically superior to that of the current well water supply used by the City of Brookings. They also recommended that a more detailed map of the drainage basin be made and the potential contamination of the Everist gravel pit from runoff originating from the drainage basin be evaluated. The objectives undertaken in this thesis were to: (A) Accurately define the surface drainage basin that provides runoff into the pond recharge area. (B) Assess the contamination potential of a) industries, b) a closed solid waste dump, c) a winter cattle feedlot, d) existing sewers, and e) other man-made sources within the drainage basin that would adversely affect the drinking water quality of the water in the gravel pits, (C) Determine the present suitability of the water in the L.G. Everist Pond with respect to public drinking water standards, (D) Assess nitrate movement from the feedlot in that portion of the watershed immediately adjacent to the gravel pit ponds, and (E) Obtain additional information regarding the recharge area and the response to rainfall and runoff.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Drinking water -- Standards -- South Dakota -- Brookings

Groundwater -- South Dakota -- Brookings -- Quality

Big Sioux Aquifer (S.D.)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University