DES MOINES, Iowa -- On Monday, the City of Des Moines unveiled new efforts to improve water quality across the metro.
Some officials are calling these efforts a marketing tool, but students, community members, and some of Des Moines' furriest residents were all ears as the city announced newest water quality efforts.
The push comes as a reminder that residents are on the front lines when protecting our water.
The new strategy includes allowing students to design manhole covers that will be used around the city. High schooler Ellie Duong won the competition, and her slogan is "It's in our hands."
"I hope our water is clean. No one wants to be drinking bad water and no one wants to see these creatures live in bad water," she said.
What we do to our water also affects animals, who need the water to survive.
"We had a tiger salamander out, and we know that salamander can’t live in that body of water if it's polluted," said Ryan Bickel of the Blank Park Zoo.
The goal is “rainification” in Iowa, which means installing rain gardens and using eco-friendly fertilizer.
"This is a concept that belongs to all of you. It’s what you can do, what your parents can do in their yards, what we all can do in our yards to try and reduce run-off and pollution,"sad Pat Sauer of the Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership.
The city has already completed $176 million treatment plant improvement projects, and there is still more than $40 million left to completed.
"Trying to figure out what we can do in terms of bio swells and everything else that is green infrastructure, native grasses, trees to clean up our water," said Mayor Cownie.
Many of Des Moines' eco-friendly infrastructures will break ground in 2018.