Minnesota may be the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, but not all of them are pristine waterways. A number of lakes within the state's boundaries are quite polluted.

In this list, we'll explore some of the dirtiest lakes in the entire state, and explain just how they got that way in the first place.

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There are several reasons why these Minnesota Lakes are on the dirty side. Whether it's from decades of pollution, agricultural runoff, or other factors; these are some of the dirtiest lakes in the state.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro is one of the worst offenders in terms of water quality, with several lakes making the list. These include Meuwissen Lake, west of Chaska, Chub Lake, south of Lakeville, Lake Augusta in Mendota Heights, Lake Maria in Wright County, and Hazeltine Lake in Chaska. These results come from a study done by the Metropolitan Council a few years back.

In Southeast Minnesota, Lake Pepin, which is a naturally occurring lake along the Mississippi River, has long had its own issues with pollution, due to high sediment runoff. And Lake Phalen in St. Paul is another waterway that's had a history of water quality, with years of buildup of PFOS chemicals, also known as "forever chemicals", which mainly come from consumer products used in the kitchen and bathroom.

Other lakes in Greater Minnesota with the same problem of "forever chemicals" plaguing their water include Lake Winona in Alexandria and Wild Rice Lake and Fish Lake, which are located north of Duluth.

But not all of the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes are in as bad of shape as those listed above. In fact, many Minnesota Lakes are thriving, including Deer Lake, north of Grand Rapids, which was recently named the clearest lake in the entire state.

Story Sources: Twin Cities Dot Com Website, MPR Website, Kare 11 Website, KXRB Website

Dives Worth a Drive in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota

Almost every small South Dakota town has a watering hole. It’s where the locals go to kick back a few brews and engage in conversation.

Some of these establishments are located in buildings almost as old as the town itself. There might be a fresh coat of paint on the walls or new vinyl on the booth seats, but the ambiance is still reminiscent of a good ol’ dive.

If you think a "dive" is all about the sketchy clientele, the smell of the Devil’s lettuce, and stale Grain Belt, you’d be wrong. Not every dive has a bad reputation.

What makes a dive, a dive?

A dive has character. Neon beer signs and local memorabilia adorn the walls.

You might find a pool table, dart board, and a few video lottery machines.

The bartender knows the regulars by name and they know what you drink.

Some dives don't even serve food except for bags of chips and pickled eggs that sit in a jar of brine on the bar.

Dives aren't fancy. You might see 70's-style wood panels on the walls and wobbly tables leveled with a folded napkin.

Finally, the bathrooms. The bathrooms in dives are in a class by themselves and could be a whole topic on its own. 

There are several small-town dives in our area with friendly faces, cheap booze with a burn, and even really good food! We use the term "dive" in the most affectionate way.

Here are some of the best and why you should go there.

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