Water Quality Questions Throw Monkey Wrench into Plans for Adair County Fair

GREENFIELD, Iowa -- There's lots of planning that goes into a county fair without having to worry about water quality, but then came a curveball yesterday complicating matters, with word that the water from the Greenfield Municipal Utilities water system might not be safe.

"We were originally told that the water would not be fit for the livestock to drink," said Dan Westphal, Swine Superintendent - Adair County Fair. "And that it would almost be an issue if they were being bathed that they would maybe take in or ingest some of that water, it could be an issue or a health issue for the animals at that time."

Fair board members had to plan for the worst case scenario.

"That monkey wrench was a pretty big monkey wrench yesterday morning when we got informed about this," said Scott Steele, Adair County Fair Board President. "There was quite a scramble to figure out how we`re gonna supply water to everything..."

Not being able to have access to safe water for livestock would have been a disaster for the Adair County Fair.

"Tremendous impact as far as the washing of animals," said Westphal. "You know, carrying in water to drink wouldn't have been a big issue, but when you're used to hooking onto a hose and lathering up your animal and showing it, it`d have been tremendous issue to have to wash them with a bucket and rinse them off with a bucket."

And when there's even a question about a potential toxin being detected in the water, Kevin Maas of Adair, says it's better to be safe than sorry.

"This is actually a huge investment for us," said Maas. "We've been showing cattle for years, our family has. My dad started this years ago. We've got too many dollars wrapped up in a lot of these show cattle to just risk the chance that it's gonna be fine."

Fortunately, despite the scare, the fair board found out this morning that the water was safe for the animals. However, for people, officials say do not drink the water without boiling it first.