Des Moines keeps up struggle with nitrate in water

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Rivers supplying drinking water to the city of Des Moines continue to carry high nitrate levels prompting the city to turn to a reservoir for source water and no longer drawing water from rivers.

The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/14Is9fE ) Des Moines Water Works has already spent $500,000 removing nitrate this year and says the persistent problem likely will lead to higher water rates for customers.

The issue continues to create friction between water providers and farmers. The most significant contributor to high nitrate in rivers is fertilizer and animal manure washing out of farm fields.

The city has equipment to keep drinking water below the 10 milligrams per liter level considered safe for drinking.

Untreated Raccoon River water is above 14 and the Des Moines River is above 16.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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