LAKE ALVIN, S.D. (KELO) — Swimmers are taking the plunge at Lake Alvin again, after the wet spring held their outdoor fun at bay. Heavy runoff forced the beach to close for two weeks in May because of E. coli. But the lake has had a clean bill of health for several weeks and now swimmers and boaters are heading back into the water.
Game, Fish and Parks expect big crowds for the Fourth of July and beyond at Lake Alvin. That’s quite a turnaround from just a few weeks earlier when swimmers weren’t allowed in the water.
Summer, sand and swimming are converging along the shores of Lake Alvin.
“The water’s nice it looks pretty clear and just the surroundings of the trees and stuff is nice,” Shanda Mauricio of Sioux Falls said.
Beachgoers were surprised they had the place practically to themselves so close to the Fourth of July.
“It was very surprising because it’s so beautiful and relaxing and quite enjoyable,” Erin Brooks of Sioux Falls said.
But holiday crowds should fill the beach, turning the tide on a slow start to the summer because of bacteria in the water.
“When you close a beach early in the year, a lot of people hear that and then they may find alternative swimming solutions and just may not come back. But we’ve been receiving several phone calls every week, people wondering if Lake Alvin’s open and we tell them that it is and we’re staring to see the crowd increase every week,” District Park Supervisor Jason Baumann said.
To many KELOLAND families, spending the day at the beach is a Fourth of July holiday tradition.
“Classic, I guess it would be like what you would think spending the Fourth of July outside in the wilderness, I guess you would say,” Mauricio
The potential for rain in the forecast would be all that could hold back the holiday crowds at Lake Alvin. But then rain is a culprit that Lake Alvin and its beachgoers have gotten used to dealing with this wet year.
“It’s just important to have all the parks that we can go play at and be outside and not be stuck in the houses,” Brooks said.
Lake Alvin conducts water tests every Monday.
Meanwhile, the park is awaiting word from a Minneapolis engineering firm about what fixes are needed at its earthen dam. The heavy rain this spring caused some dirt to wash down the hillside. But the dam is in no danger of collapsing.