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Visitors Flock To Falls Park, Despite Sewage

August 6, 2010, 5:07 PM by Kealey Bultena

Visitors Flock To Falls Park, Despite Sewage
SIOUX FALLS, SD - To try and avoid having sewage back up into people's homes, the city of Sioux Falls dumped it into the Big Sioux River for days. But what's been a big problem in the city isn't as much of a concern as you might expect at a popular park.

The rushing water at the Falls makes for a picturesque scene at the city's namesake.

"It's real pretty, a beautiful park," Sandra Ross of Oklahoma said.

"We saw it as a point of interest in the South Dakota brochures, and we really wanted to come and see how they looked," Joe Krajacic of Illinois said.

Falls Park is usually a busy attraction this time of year. Even though visitors are still coming, parts of the park are roped off and biohazard signs are placed all around the area.

"Well, we didn't know why it was blocked off. I noticed the sign said it was a biohazard, so I just they may have some kind of problems with the river," Ross said.

But a closer look offers visitors a better idea of why the Big Sioux is off-limits.

"We did notice it was very dirty water and a lot of accumulation," Diana Krebs of Missouri said.

That's because the city dumped raw sewage into the river to avoid having it back up into homes, but spectators aren't too bothered by the barricades.

"It's a concern. I guess we won't go playing in there today," Krajacic said.

The sewage problem isn't keeping people away; they're just keeping their distance.

"Hey, it just happens. Stuff happens, right? We're just enjoying it anyway, and we're going to go on to Iowa as we planned. We think, hey, we stopped at kind of exciting time. You guys are having a little trouble," Krebs said.

And tourists hope the water's clearer the next time they come to town.

"It's probably a lot nicer when it's not blocked off," Ross said.

"It didn't distract us from coming up and seeing the beauty of it," Krajacic said.

People from KELOLAND who were at Falls Park today say they knew the river was blocked off before they came, but they couldn't pass up Friday's beautiful weather.

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