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Big Sioux River focus of Sioux Falls conference

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SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The Big Sioux River is the focus of a conference in South Dakota's largest city.

Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether is hosting the Big Sioux River Water Summit from 3-7 p.m. Monday. He says the river is one of the things that makes the city beautiful — but it needs improvements in quality, drainage and other areas.

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East Dakota Water Development District Manager Jay Gilbertson tells the Argus Leader that he wouldn't let his grandson swim in the river, because of high levels of E. coli bacteria.

The newspaper reports that conservationists are working with ranchers on handling manure and keeping cattle away from Skunk Creek, a Big Sioux tributary that is surrounded by farm land.

Another water quality event is scheduled next month in Brookings.

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