Nitrates Force Load on W. Des Moines - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Nitrates Force Load on W. Des Moines

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by Phil Prazan


The people in the metro who make sure your tap never runs dry are struggling to keep chemicals out of it.

It's a given that chemicals get into your water.  What water treatment plants do is put in good chemicals that try and kick out the bad ones. And right now Central Iowa treatment facilities are working overtime to get the nitrates out of the water.
Nitrates are products of fertilizers and other agriculture chemicals.  Summer rains flooded the state this year and washed a lot of nitrates into the same areas where we get our drinking water.

General Manager of West Des Moines Works Diana Wilson says they can be dangerous, especially for young children or pregnant women.

Usually West Des Moines buys 30% of its water from Des Moines Water Works, that water goes to District 3 on the northwest side of town.

There are federal regulations and limits on how many nitrates can be in our water.  It takes time, money and resources to get them out.

So West Des Moines is now pumping more of its own water to District 3, easing the burden on Des Moines Water Works.

West Des Moines now pumps out up to one and a half million gallons a day. That's almost reaching their upper limit, but that also helps Des Moines's fight with pesky chemicals be a little easier.
"Farm chemicals, pesticides, all of these things are really concerns heading into the future," says Wilson from West Des Moines Water Works.

Bill Stowe from Des Moines Water Works says the amount of nitrates in our water is troubling. He's trying to get people together to get better regulations on the chemicals that cause this threat.

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