Chemical Problems of Farm Water Supplies

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Gastler, G. F.; Olson, O. E.
South Dakota State State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Agricultural Experiment Station
contaminated water; contaminated wells; contaminated cisterns; dissolved minerals; dissolved salts; farm water
artifact description
The water supply on South Dakota farms is a source of many problems. In most cases, it is a difficult and expensive operation to obtain an adequate supply at a desirable location. Once obtained, many problems of plumbing and maintenance are left to be solved. Although the installation and maintenance may be expensive and difficult, the question of water quality may be even more important. The chemical quality of the ground waters (wells and springs) of the state in variable. In a few instances, well waters containing very low concentrations of dissolved materials have been found, but most have fairly high to excessively high amounts of dissolved minerals (salts). Depending upon the use to which the water is put, these salts may or may not be objectionable. Will and springs, of course, are not the only sources of waters on our farms and ranches. Stock dams are widely used in many parts of the state, and the water in these does not often present problems of a chemical nature as long as it is used only for livestock. Cisterns are occasionally employed to store rain water collected from the roofs of buildings, and most of the troubles with this type of supply concern contamination with ground waters, bacterial contamination, excessive color, or bad odors. Streams, lakes, or rivers are also used, and here as in the case of ground water supplies the chemical quality is highly variable. (See more in text)