This report summarizes the results of algae and water-quality sampling on Rapid Creek and Canyon Lake during May and September 2007. The overall purpose of the study was to determine the algal community composition of Rapid Creek and Canyon Lake in relation to organisms that are known producers of unwanted tastes and odors in drinking-water supplies. Algal assemblage structure (phytoplankton and periphyton) was examined at 16 sites on Rapid Creek and Canyon Lake during May and September 2007, and actinomycetes bacteria were sampled at the Rapid City water treatment plant intake in May 2007, to determine if taste-and-odor producing organisms were present. During the May 2007 sampling, 3 Rapid Creek sites and 4 Canyon Lake sites were quantitatively sampled for phytoplankton in the water column, 7 Rapid Creek sites were quantitatively sampled for attached periphyton, and 4 lake and retention pond sites were qualitatively sampled for periphyton. Five Rapid Creek sites were sampled for geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol, two common taste-and-odor causing compounds known to affect water supplies. During the September 2007 sampling, 4 Rapid Creek sites were quantitatively sampled for attached periphyton, and 3 Canyon Lake sites were qualitatively sampled for periphyton. Water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and specific conductance were measured during each sampling event. Methods of collection and sample analysis are presented for the various types of biological and chemical constituent samples.
Diatoms comprised 91-100 percent of the total algal biovolume in periphyton samples collected during May and September. Cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae) were detected in 7 of the 11 quantitative periphyton samples and ranged from 0.01 to 2.0 percent of the total biovolume. Cyanobacteria were present in 3 of the 7 phytoplankton samples collected in May, but the relative biovolumes were small (0.01-0.2 percent). Six of seven qualitative samples collected from Canyon Lake and retention ponds during May and September also contained cyanobacteria. Geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol concentrations were less than detection limits (0.005 ug/L) in all five of the Rapid Creek samples collected in May. Actinomycetes bacteria were present at the water treatment plant intake in May 2007, at a concentration of 6 colonies per milliliter. During this study, no taste-and-odor problems with the drinking water within the study area were reported. However, the presence of cyanobacterial taxa known to contain taste-and-odor producing strains (such as Leptolyngbya, Phormidium, and Anabaena) indicates the potential for taste-and-odor problems under certain physical and chemical conditions.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Algal and water-quality data for Rapid Creek and Canyon Lake near Rapid City, South Dakota, 2007
U.S. Geological Survey
South Dakota Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center