WATER WORKS: ‘Dangerous’ Chemical Discovered

Des Moines Water Works has notified some customers that their water contained a potentially dangerous chemical that people drank for months.

But Water Works’ top official says the water is safe and people should be fine even if they drank the water before crews fully treated it.

Customers received a letter in the mail this past week saying Water Works violated a drinking water standard. CEO, Bill Stowe, said the water had higher amounts of dirt and fertilizer from runoff over the winter. He said crews had to use unusually high amounts of chlorine to clean the water. As a result, the chlorine mixed with other particles already existing in the water causing a chemical called TTHM (Total Trihalomethanes) to form.

Stowe says results from February’s water testing just came in and those results showed the city exceeded the recommended amount of that cleansing chemical.

“We take very seriously and are accountable for violating the Safe Drinking Water Act but we would hope that the land users, agricultural land users upstream from us, will take accountability and help us in insuring that this won’t happen in the future.”

Stowe says they are still working on a way to fix this problem. Since there have been high levels all quarter long. Stowe says customers can expect to get more letters in the mail until the average levels falls below the standard.


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