Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil Engineering


During the past quarter century, the utilization of lagoons as a means of waste treatment has increased dramatically. Communities which utilize this means of waste treatment tend to consider the sewage lagoon as providing complete or final treatment. Consideration was not given to problems caused by the treated waste after it was removed from the immediate environment. In the past few years there has been an increasing demand that the environment be protected, and the methods of waste disposal have come under scrutiny. It has been found that the elements causing eutrophication of lakes and reservoirs exist in substantial amounts in stabilized sewage effluent. The increased public awareness has fulfilled the urgent necessity of motivating people to conserve and protect natural resources. Although surface waters have been the primary concern, more consideration should be accorded the beneficial uses and public health aspects of groundwater contamination. In South Dakota, groundwater is the principal source of water because approximately two-thirds of the total water used originates from groundwater sources. Considering that about 20 per cent of the sewage lagoons leak excessively, there is a distinct possibility that the groundwater near some lagoons may become contaminated. Because the importance of maintaining the quality of groundwater resources cannot be disregarded, it was felt that a study involving ·the possibility of a sewage lagoon contaminating the groundwater was in order. Consequently, the Civil Engineering Department at South Dakota State University undertook the study as an extens1on of their work in groundwater contamination caused by waste disposal practices. The objectives for this study were as follows: 1. To determine the degradation of ground water quality in the vicinity of selected sewage lagoons by measuring the chlorides; specific conductance, pH, hardness, sodium, COD, nitrates and phosphates. 2. To determine the quantity of seepage from selected sewage lagoons by calculating a water balance, which includes evaporation, precipitation, the discharge from the lagoon and the amount of sewage pumped to the lagoon.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sewage lagoons -- South Dakota
Groundwater -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University