Nitrates found in drinking water

MASON CITY, Iowa - “I guess I wasn’t surprised, because we’ve had high nitrates in the past.  If you go back we’ve  had two months of high nitrates in the last year,” said Peggy Hanson, Administrator of Mitchell County Care Facility.

The Mitchell County Care Facility was recently cited by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for having high nitrate levels in their water.  While those nitrates can have the greatest impact on infants and pregnant women, those in the county say the problem needs to be fixed now.

“I feel there’s still people that will be needing support and we’re here to give that to them,” said Hanson.

Joel Voaklander, a member of the Mitchell County Board of Supervisors, says they’ve hired a project engineer to come up with a plan.  The solution they’re looking into is to install a water softener system, instead of installing a new well.

“To install a new well would be cost prohibitive to the city. The other options are within the $20, $25,000 range, but we do need to do something,” said Voaklander.

Bottom line, Voaklander says, the water issue will be fixed as quickly as possible, especially with the DNR wanting a solution to the nitrate problem soon.

“The DNR says we need to do something. That’s why it’s important to us.  We have to be in compliance. They’re in the driver’s seat, we march to their drum.”

The Mitchell County Board of Supervisors has sent the report on the mitigation of the nitrate issue to the Iowa DNR, who will review it, and give the board the go ahead or suggest changes.

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