Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

Todd P. Trooien


Vegetative treatment systems (VTS) are a possible alternative to storage basins for managing feedlot runoff but have not been researched in South Dakota. This study was conducted to evaluate the performance of VTS within South Dakota. The performance was evaluated by determining water and mass balances on each vegetative treatment area (VTA). The balances were determined by measuring all inflow, outflow, evapotranspiration, precipitation, and both soil and water nutrient concentrations within the VTA. Twelve site years have been completed in researching VTS from four feed lots in South Dakota. Seven of the twelve site-years VTS were able to prevent water from leaving the VTA. Two of the years that did have VTA outflow were due to rainfalls in excess of a 25 year, 24-hour storm. Any loss in nutrients greater than two percent of the applied nutrients during a site-year was caused by a 25 year, 24-hour storm event. Soil nutrients appear to be accumulating at Miner County and phosphorus appears to be accumulating in front of the VTA inlet at Haakon County. Soil changes however, are not significant at any location at the 95% confidence level. The results show that VTS have potential to become working systems for the containment of both water and nutrients. Every site had at least one researched site-year that was successful in complete containment. The information learned in this project is valuable to evaluate VTS performance, to calibrate VTS models, and to provide information for further research.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Feedlot runoff -- South Dakota -- Management
Agricultural wastes -- South Dakota -- Management


Includes bibliographical references (76-78)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2010 Daniel T. Ostrem. All rights reserved