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South Dakota Mandates Lake Alvin Lockdown Due to Health Concerns

South Dakota state government is once again infringing on individual freedom under the guise of public health mandates:

The swimming beach at Lake Alvin Recreation Area near Harrisburg is currently closed due to unhealthy levels of bacteria in the water.

Routine testing done by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks showed that there were unhealthy levels of bacteria in the water due to an increased amount of runoff from recent heavy rain.

“Following heavy rains, we often see an increase in the amount of runoff into our lakes and streams. That runoff picks up contaminants along the way, and deposits them into the water,” District Park Supervisor Jason Baumann said in a press release [Marissa Lute, “Lake Alvin Closed to Swimming Until Further Notice, GFP Says,” KELO-TV, 2021.09.06].

Translation: manure runs downhill, and rain helps it run downhill from all those CAFOs and farm fields into Lake Alvin. And ag-industrial runoff shuts Lake Alvin down for swimming pretty much every summer (2020, 2019, 2018…).

But come on! I thought our Governor promised us freedom! Doesn’t she trust us to make our own health choices any more? Mandates like this sound like fascist oppression, right, Representative Jon Hansen?


  1. Richard+Schriever 2021-09-06 08:32

    No feelots feed into Lak Alvin. Lake Alvin is the result of damming Nine-Mile Creek, which has its origins on the SW edge of Sioux Falls, runs through Tea (and immediately adjacent to the Tea sewage lagoons, then through an industrial park @ I-29 (who knows what gets dumped on the ground there?) anfd then past the South edge of Harrisburg (within yards of that town’s former sewage lagoons) and finally into the Lake. Those two human sewage lagoons and the Industrial offage are the sources of any contamination. All aided by chemical fertilizer from farm fields in between.

  2. kurtz 2021-09-06 08:55

    No wonder the Big Sioux River is a sewer of biblical proportions, the Prairie Pothole Region is one big eutrophic septic tank and nearly every waterway in the northern Plains states is impaired. Republican welfare farmers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them.

    So, instead of empowering communities to harvest snow melt and rain water rural communities continue to be dependent on politicians who exploit need so they’re begging the Biden administration for more money. South Dakota’s dairies are wreaking habitat havoc all along the state’s border with Minnesota and like most of the state, southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa are Republican strongholds where dairies, swine units and other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have devastated water supplies by contaminating wells with nitrates.

    Contact with the Big Sioux River can cause spontaneous abortions in pregnant women but the congressional delegations from the tristate region are Republican Earth haters elected to bring bacon home to their districts while decrying socialism, big gubmint and the US Army Corps of Engineers who manage the Waters of the United States or WOTUS.

    Now, because of environmental degradation driven by CAFOs officials with the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System (LCRWS) want to expand output from its current 45 million gallons per day to 60 million gallons per day even though water levels in the Missouri River and its basin are at historic lows.

    Following the release of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest measurements Iowa Farmers Union President Aaron Lehman said that state’s Nutrient Reduction Management Strategy is proving to be ineffective in controlling the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. But, Lehman is concerned that without further financial incentives from the Biden administration Republican welfare farmers will simply continue polluting waterways.

  3. sx123 2021-09-06 11:19

    That and why do school cafeterias and restaurants have to pass health inspection? I mean, if I want to serve meat that fell on the floor, that’s my choice and freedom. And my customers, not knowing I’m serving meat from off the floor, have the choice to not dine there. :-P

  4. Richard+Schriever 2021-09-06 13:13

    Forgot to note that there are several “rural residential development” along 9-mile creek, with each individual housing unit having its own septic system, and drain field adding to the sewerage infiltration into that watershed, and then there is the residential development surrounding the lake itself. Why close the beach? Humans evidently love to wallow in their own swill.

  5. LCJ 2021-09-06 13:47

    Kurtz, are you saying all rich welfare farmers are Republicans ? Not even close, sir.

  6. Donald Pay 2021-09-06 14:41

    Kurtz, It’s been known for a while that the biggest abortion provider in the United States are government entities that fail to regulate water pollution. Which party is most at fault for that? The Republican Party. You know, Texas might have a decent anti-abortion law there, if it can be used to go after the biggest purveyors of abortion—the Republican Party.

  7. grudznick 2021-09-06 17:57

    This is indeed an infringement of personal choice. Libertarians like grudznick and my close, personal friend Lar abhor this. The park should put up a sign that says “If you can’t tell this mud-puddle of a lake looks icky, go ahead and swim.” Then let those who want to swim, swim. Let those who want to gargle, gargle. Dogs can’t read signs anyway so they’ll decide what they want to do no matter what.

  8. O 2021-09-06 18:57

    grudznick, how do libertarians square personal choice that costs the society money? When one chooses to go swimming in a toxic dump, then gets sick, then incurs health care costs that are passed on to the rest of us (because our libertarian swimmer also chooses not to have health insurance), is that still individual choice? I guess my question is how to pair the full costs of choices with those choices?

  9. grudznick 2021-09-06 20:36

    The uninsured swimmer with the soft constitution that allowed him to get sick should have to suffer the consequences, Mr. O. Sickly, in their own bed, prostrated by the agonies.

  10. Richard+Schriever 2021-09-06 21:30

    No sir grudz, that is not how it works. The hospitals and doctors would pursue remuneration from the sate for the indigent ignorami who choose to sicken themselves, and the state (I.E., the rest of us all) would pay.

  11. ArloBlundt 2021-09-06 21:51

    well…Mr. G, while Libertarianism is an attractive philosophy for individuals to live with, it never quite translates into a government for a civilized society….the natural world is filled with a gazillion microbes, pathogens, viruses and prions all with the goal of inhabiting our bodies, eating us, killing us, and leaving the remains for other microscopic beings to recycle. These germs are as persistent and inherently evil as the terrorists and foreign despots who organize to blow us up seize our goods and trade routes, and destroy our nation and its people. We organize an Army, Navy, Air Force Marines. Coast Guard, Space Force and an alphabets worth of intelligence and survailence agencies at great cost to keep these threats at bay. So must we organize a public and private health care system, with appropriate agencies and weapons, to keep the germs in check. If we did not, if we maintained a strict adherence to Libertarian philosophy, we’d all be very dead, very soon.The best we could hope for is that small, isolated pockets of us would survive in small, cloistered self sustaining communities, like your Conservatives with a Conscience, breakfast group. Which would thrive….until you needed a nursing home.

  12. Porter Lansing 2021-09-06 21:55

    grudznick, you’re no more a libertarian than John Dale is an American.

    Given, you’re as selfish as a libertarian.

    And, as paranoid as a libertarian.

    But, you’re a “Whomever pays me, I’ll agree with you,” Republican, if I’ve ever been around one.

  13. John 2021-09-08 08:08

    The social problem highlighted by the nonsensical Lewis and Clark pipeline is the utter failure of will for people to care for water supply and watershed that they have. The cost to care for the watershed people have at hand is far less than shipping water over hundreds of miles.
    American society has an epic social failure of personal responsibility.

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