It’s been a contentious month for water quality in Iowa. In early March the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) announced that the utility will file a federal suit against three rural counties in northwest Iowa for nitrate pollution.
Residents of Des Moines and other nearby municipalities receive tap water that originates from the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers. Drinking water is federally mandated to have less than 10 parts per million (ppm) of nitrates, most importantly because higher nitrate levels have induced potentially lethal Blue Baby Syndrome in infants. DMWW regularly receives water higher than 10 ppm from its source waters, and this pollution is largely a result of the nitrogen fertilizers and manure applied to farm fields in northwest Iowa. Read the rest of this entry »