Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

James N. Dornbush


Many sources of groundwater used for drinking in the United States have high levels of nitrates. These levels are higher than the Environmental Protection Agency's limits for nitrates (10 mg/I of NO3-N). Nitrates in water pose a potential health risk to small children and may cause some forms of cancer. Nitrates are difficult to remove from the water, therefore alternative sources must usually be found. The city of Aurora, SD has high nitrates in their water supply. The city's well is located in the Big Sioux Aquifer. This investigation attempted to evaluate the effects of well start-up, different pumping rates, precipitation and agricultural irrigation on the nitrate concentration of water pumped from the ground. The results from this testing indicates that once the pump is started, nitrate concentrations increase rapidly and the cone of depression is established quickly in the aquifer around Aurora, SD. Little change in nitrate concentration was observed when the discharge of the Brookings-Deuel RWS well pump was increased during pumping. It was difficult to correlate any effects due to precipitation on the nitrate concentrations around Aurora, SD. However, data indicate nitrate concentrations have increased over the years. Since irrigation is influenced by many factors such as precipitation, the type of crop grown and climate, it was difficult to establish a relationship between irrigation and nitrate concentrations in the aquifer.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Groundwater -- South Dakota -- Aurora -- Quality
Water -- Nitrogen content -- South Dakota -- Aurora




South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright