The threat of exceeding Environmental Protection Agency limits on nitrates in discharge, led to the activation of its nitrate removal facility. It's expensive to run, and the Des Moines Water Works believes there are better ways to handle nitrates. Des Moines Water Works public policy analyst Linda Kinman says keeping an eye on agricultural tile lines may be one way, additionally, saying there needs to be more focus on non-point sources
The Des Moines Water Works detected increased nitrates in the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers in May. Nutrients that went unused by corn and soybean plants in last year's drought ran off of farms across the state during the wettest spring on record this year.