During June and July 2005, water and bottom-sediment samples were collected from selected Yankton Sioux Tribe wetlands within the historic Reservation area of eastern Charles Mix County as part of a reconnaissance-level assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey and Yankton Sioux Tribe. The water samples were analyzed for pesticides and mercury species. In addition, the water samples were analyzed for physical properties and chemical constituents that might help further characterize the water quality of the wetlands. The bottom-sediment samples were analyzed for mercury species.
During June 2005, water samples were collected from 19 wetlands and were analyzed for 61 widely used pesticide compounds. Many pesticides were not detected in any of the water samples and many others were detected only at low concentrations in a few of the samples. Thirteen pesticides were detected in water samples from at least one of the wetlands. Atrazine and de-ethyl atrazine were detected at each of the 19 wetlands. The minimum, maximum, and median dissolved atrazine concentrations were 0.056, 0.567, and 0.151 microgram per liter (?g/L), respectively. Four pesticides (alachlor, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, and dicamba) were detected in only one wetland each. The number of pesticides detected in any of the 19 wetlands ranged from 3 to 8, with a median of 6. In addition to the results for this study, recent previous studies have frequently found atrazine in Lake Andes and the Missouri River, but none of the atrazine concentrations have been greater than 3 ?g/L, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Maximum Contaminant Level for atrazine in drinking water.
During June and July 2005, water and bottom-sediment samples were collected from 10 wetlands. Water samples from each of the wetlands were analyzed for major ions, organic carbon, and mercury species, and bottom-sediment samples were analyzed for mercury species. For the whole-water samples, the total mercury concentrations ranged from 1.11 to 29.65 nanograms per liter (ng/L), with a median of 10.56 ng/L. The methylmercury concentrations ranged from 0.45 to 14.03 ng/L, with a median of 2.28 ng/L. For the bottom-sediment samples, the total mercury concentration ranged from 21.3 to 74.6 nanograms per gram (ng/g), with a median of 54.2 ng/g. The methylmercury concentrations ranged from <0.11 to 2.04 ng/g, with a median of 0.78 ng/g. The total mercury concentrations in the water samples were all much less than 2 ?g/L (2,000 ng/L), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Maximum Contaminant Level for mercury in drinking water. However, water samples from four of the wetlands had concentrations larger than 0.012 ?g/L (12 ng/L), the State of South Dakota's chronic standard for surface waters, including wetlands. Maximum methylmercury concentrations for this study are larger than reported concentrations for wetlands in North Dakota and concentrations reported for the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Reconnaissance-level assessment of water and bottom-sediment quality, including pesticides and mercury, in Yankton Sioux Tribe wetlands, Charles Mix County, South Dakota, June-July 2005
Scientific Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey
South Dakota Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center