Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

John R. Andersen

Second Advisor

James N. Dornbush


The Water Quality Act of 1965 and the adoption of the subsequent state water quality standards emphasized the general public's concern for the control of water pollution; for it has become the goal of our nation to maintain all American waters in a suitable condition for domestic and industrial supply, for recreation and for other beneficial uses. It is for these reasons that many communities have been faced with the problem of constructing new sewage treatment facilities or expanding present operations. The use of stabilization ponds as a means of providing sewage treatment has been the practice of many small midwestern communities. However, with the upgrading of water quality standards and/or the addition of new industries, many of these communities have been required to improve the treatment of their liquid wastes. One economical method of improvement is the addition of an aerated lagoon-located just ahead of the existing stabilization pond. Upon notification by the South Dakota Department of Health to upgrade their stabilization pond effluent, the City of Volga selected this method of improving their sewage treatment process. The agricultural community of Volga, South Dakota, is located in the east-central portion of the state and had a population in 1970 of 1,030. Its principal industry is a milk drying plant owned by Land 0' Lakes Creameries. During 1970 this plant processed from 275,000 to 350, 000 pounds of raw milk per day to produce butter and non-fat dry milk. The original sewage treatment facility at Volga was constructed in 1951 and consisted of an Imhoff tank, a trickling filter and a final settling tank. However in 1959, because of increased organic and hydraulic loadings, the State Department of Health recommended that the treatment provided by the old facilities be supplemented with the addition of a stabilization pond. Acting on this recommendation, a 3-celled, 21-acre stabilization pond was constructed approximately one mile east of Volga and in close proximity to the Big Sioux River. This stabilization pond was also overloaded a short time after it was put into use, resulting in offensive odors for some distance around the treatment facility. These offensive odors and the additional problems created by the city's undersized pumping station and outfall line, indicated that additional improvements were needed. Therefore, in 1967 the City of Volga employed a consulting engineering firm to evaluate the existing system and to recommend these needed improvements. A resulting study made by the firm on the effluent of the stabilization pond discharging into the Big Sioux River indicated an average BOD of 372 ppm. This value greatly exceeded the allowable effluent discharge of 30 ppm as required by the South Dakota Committee on Water Pollution. For this reason Volga was instructed by the State Department of Health to employ some method of treatment that would improve the effluent BOD being discharged from the stabilization pond to an acceptable value of 30 ppm or less. They were also instructed that before the State Department of Health would approve a request for a grant to construct a new outfall line, Volga would have to arrive at some satisfactory solution for their inadequate waste treatment. As a solution, the consultant proposed that the City of Volga construct an aerated lagoon to precede the present stabilization pond. It was felt that this method of treatment would provide Volga with an economical and practical answer to their treatment needs. However, the State Department of Health did not feel that the treatment provided by the aerated lagoons would be satisfactory in a Northern climate and therefore were reluctant to authorize approval of their use. Nevertheless, the Health Department did grant the City of Volga a conditional approval for the construction of the aerated lagoons. This approval was granted with the stipulation that the city would provide operational data for a period of one year to be used by the Department of Health in an evaluation of the treatment provided by the facilities. The Civil Engineering Department at South Dakota State University became involved in the aerated lagoon project during the planning stage. This involvement was necessitated because of the lack of information regarding design and operational data for an aerated lagoon treating combined domestic and dairy wastes in South Dakota. In an attempt to provide these needed data, Vanden Hoek, a sanitary engineering graduate student at the University, conducted a pilot plant study concerning the aeration of Volga's untreated wastes. The data obtained during the pilot plant study provided much of the information required for the design of the full scale aerated lagoons. Construction of the aerated lagoons was then initiated and full time operation began in August of 1970. The purposes of this study were: 1. To obtain operational data to be used by the South Dakota Department of Health for evaluating the effectiveness of an aerated lagoon treating combined dairy and domestic wastes in South Dakota. 2. To determine removal efficiencies and reaction rate coefficients for the aerated lagoon during full scale operation. 3. To evaluate the amount of mixing and the extent of oxygen distribution occurring in the aerated cell. 4. To compare full scale operational data with that obtained from the pilot plant study made at Volga in 1968.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Refuse and refuse disposal
Animal waste



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University