Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Maynard Samuelson


Wall Lake is a hypereutrophic (overenriched with nutrients) glacial lake similar in character to many other glacial lakes in South Dakota. As is the case with most glacial lakes, Wall Lake is naturally eutrophic (nutrient enriched) because of the nutrient rich loess which usually occurs in close proximity to glacial kettles and is mixed with nutrient rich glacial till. A hypereutrophic state occurs when additional nutrients are added to the lake by such sources as agricultural runoff, mixing of water with enriched sediments, and by wastewater systems. The result is the accelerated natural progression from lake, to wetland, to dry land. Overenrichment and contamination of the lake cause the overabundant growth of algae, fish kill due to oxygen depletion, unsafe bacterial conditions for water immersion recreation, and the aesthetically displeasing odor of hydrogen sulfide which smells like rotten eggs. Wall Lake is experiencing hypereutrophication which limits the recreational use by residents of Minnehaha County. Agricultural practices and wastewater systems influx has accelerated the natural processes of the lake so that it is feared that it may become a swamp prematurely. The purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility of restoring the lake for Minnehaha County residents. Initially, current, consistent data analysis of runoff from the watershed area of Wall Lake was to be included. Drought prevented watershed runoff from being sampled for the majority of the testing period. Water samples disclosed that bacterial contamination and high nutrient levels continued to occur. This paper suggests that the most probable source of bacterial contamination during this period of testing was wastewater systems.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Regional planning -- South Dakota -- Wall Lake

Wall Lake (S.D.)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University