(Sioux Falls, SD) — Work is being done to improve the Big Sioux River after the quality has lacked in recent years. The river is an important resource to South Dakota and neighboring states. The research group, Friends of the Big Sioux River, tests several locations up and down the river to determine the safety levels of the river. Last year, tests showed the highest levels of E. coli the river has seen in years after being given an F grade for exceeding the safe levels for E. coli and TSS for three straight years. The City of Sioux Falls awarded Friends of the Big Sioux River close to 10-thousand dollars from the Sustainable Community Grant this year to continue efforts for quality monitoring, education, advocacy work and river restoration projects.