After several months and hundreds-of-thousand-of-dollars, the battle with high nitrate levels is over in the metro… at least for now.
Nearly three months ago, Des Moines Water Works began treating for a record high amount of nitrates in the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers.
It cost $7,000 a day to treat the water that at times exceeded the recommended safe limit by two and a half times.
As a result, Water Works says customers will see their monthly bills increase.
The primary source of nitrates in the Midwest is run off from crop fertilizer.
“While we are finally seeing reduced nitrate levels in the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers, we now have operational challenges ahead of us related to algae blooms,” said Water Works’ Bill Stowe.
“Des Moines Water Works will continue to struggle with water quality in the long-term if state and federal leaders do not take bold action to hold land users upstream accountable for irresponsible practices that disregard the common wealth of our state’s waters.”
Now that the nitrate levels are down, Water Works is lifting its request for customers to reduce irrigation.