Water Information

Water Samples


Water samples are taken at designated SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) sites for monitoring different aspects of water quality. Of the many things that can be monitored, listed here are measurements for two years, taken in the spring of each year: dissolved oxygen levels (a level of 5 stresses living things; levels below 1, animals die). A measurement of pH is a measurement of the hydrogen ion (the level of acidity/base of the water); total nitrogen and total phosphorus, which are both nutrients (fertilizers) in the water and are great for growing algae. Profligate algae growth is not a great idea. When the algae dies, during decomposition, it burns up the oxygen, leaving less or even sometimes none for the animals living in the water. The expansion of the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico is a direct result of an overabundance of phosphorus and nitrogen in the water.

Water Data Comparison (2012 / 2013)


Waterbody Site Location I.D. Dissolved O pH Total P Total N
Lake Kampeska Inlet / Outlet k04 8.3 / 7.03 8.9 / 7.13 0.344 / 0.256 0.28 / 0.08
Big Sioux River Near Wtn. Gague k06 7.75 / 5.43 7.73 / 7.49 0.165 / 0.249 0.31 / <0.05
Big Sioux River Near Florence Gauge k07 7.44 / 8.28 7.47 / 7.13 0.178 / 0.233 0.22 / <0.05
Lake Kampeska Midlake k09 12.12 / 9.6 7.8 / 8.8 0.341 / 0.806 <0.05 / <0.05
Lake Kampeska Midlake k10 14.18 / 13.5 8.6 / 9.1 0.036 / 0.804 <0.05 / <0.05
Big Sioux River 155th St. Bridge k12 7.95 / 9.53 7.65 7.93 0.155 / 0.232 0.19 / <0.05







Lake Pelican East End pl6 10.47 / 7.96 8.34 / 6.91 0.089 / 0.096 <0.05 / <0.05
Lake Pelican West End pl7 11.6 / 8.27 8.21 / 8.27 0.074 / 0.12 <0.05 / <0.05

Lake Kampeska Water Levels



With the transfer of the water treatment facility to the watershed project, and the repurposing of it into the Phosphorus Removal Facility (growing algae in the plant to eat the phosphorus, returning cleaner water to the river and removing the algae to be used for other purposes), the watershed project has been tasked with the responsibility of monitoring lake water levels in the raw water well at the intake to the water treatment plant. Daily and weekly, staff take readings of the water levels. (See tweet on main page of watershed project for levels). Another function of that responsibility is seasonal monitoring of 'ice up' and 'ice out' on Lake Kampeska. Water level history is found on twitter.

stick used in past and present for measuring water

Big Sioux River Water Levels



To view current and real time river gauges throughout the Big Sioux watershed area or the entire state, go to the Waterwatch site at the USGS.