Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Darrell Napton


Agricultural and other rural land use practices have adversely affected groundwater quality throughout the United States. The increased usage of nitrogen fertilizer and dumping of industrial waste chemicals have caused concern for their potential hazard to rural potable water supplies. Health problems such as methemoglobinemia, also known as blue-baby syndrome, are associated with nitrate contaminated water. The small community of Volga, South Dakota supports agricultural, commercial, and industrial activities, as well as a growing residential population. High nitrate levels were found in public supply wells, located within the City of Volga's Wellhead Protection Area (WHPA). This research identifies the current and historical potential nitrate contamination point sources within Volga' s WHPA, and watershed from 1988 to 1998; identifies current and historical land use practices possibly related to non-point nitrate pollution sources within the rural portions of Volga's WHPA and watershed from 1988 to 1998; and compares historic water quality records to possible contaminant sources within the rural portions of Volga's WHPA and watershed. By identifying sites where nitrate levels have increased over the past ten years and relating them to changes in rural land use/land cover, specific recommendations for nitrate reduction can be made.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nitrates -- Environmental aspects -- South Dakota -- Volga Region.
Groundwater -- Pollution -- South Dakota -- Volga Region
Land use, Rural -- South Dakota -- Volga Region.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright