Statewide Ground Water Quality Monitoring Network
In order to meet the demands for information on water quality by regulatory agencies and those whom they regulate, South Dakota is supporting a major, long-term, proactive monitoring effort. The monitoring network was specially designed and installed to examine the quality of shallow ground water with respect to nonpoint source pollution and long-term trends in water quality. The network currently consists of 144 wells at 79 sites in 25 aquifers across South Dakota. Because agriculture is our primary industry, pesticides and nitrogen are, of course, among the things being examined. The monitoring effort is just now beginning to provide us with the kind of information that we need to adequately respond to issues before us. Information produced through this effort will be used to guide the development of water in South Dakota and the implementation of common sense regulatory practices.
Goals of the Project
- Maintain and modify, as necessary, a permanent network of monitoring wells
- Regularly and systematically assess:
- Present ground water quality
- Short-term water quality changes due to natural processes and agricultural chemicals
- Long-term trends in water quality
Water samples are tested for major ions such as nitrate, ammonia, calcium, chloride, iron, manganese, and sodium. The water is also tested for trace metals, cyanide, radionuclides, volatile organic compounds, and pesticides.