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Greene County Farm Knows How to Eliminate Nitrates in Water

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GREENE COUNTY, Iowa -- Gov. Terry Branstad paid a visit to the Mike and Kathy Bravard Farm near Jefferson on Monday to view a farm management project designed to keep nitrates out of the water.

The Iowa Soybean Association hosted the event along with the Bravards. The project is called a denitrifying bio-reactor. Soil is removed, and a bed of wood chips is laid a few feet underground near a flowing creek.

The chips react with the water flowing through to draw the nitrates out of the water before it goes downstream. In Iowa, between 40 and 50 bio-reactors have been installed.  The technology is younger than 10 years old in Iowa. Some of the projects can cost between $8,000-$12,000.  Federal assistance is available in some cases.

Branstad said he hopes the legislature will approve proposals designed to work to improve water quality in Iowa.