Clean water at the tap starts with protecting rivers, lakes, groundwater across Iowa

In honor of National Drinking Water Week (May 5-11), the Iowa Environmental Council  encourages all Iowans to take part in good stewardship of the state’s water supply, protect our waters from pollution, support our drinking water infrastructure and let our policymakers know that our work on clean water remains unfinished.

Today, members of the Council’s staff gathered with other community volunteers to participate in the twice annual Polk County water quality snapshot.  In ten years of water quality monitoring, volunteers have helped collect water samples at dozens of sites on rivers and streams throughout the county.

The snapshot event is organized by the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Raccoon River Watershed Association, the Des Moines Water Works, the Iowa Environmental Council and receives steadfast volunteer support from the Wells Fargo Green Team and numerous other community volunteers.

Nevin Cornwell (left) and Craig Dilley complete water tests on Four Mile Creek on the north side of Ankeny.

Nevin Cornwell (left) and Craig Dilley complete water tests on Four Mile Creek on the north side of Ankeny.

Linda Kinman (left) the Council's past president, reviews water samples taken by volunteers with Susan Heathcote, the Council's water program director.

Linda Kinman (left), the Council’s past president, reviews water samples taken by volunteers with Susan Heathcote, the Council’s water program director.

Michelle Hamilton of Des Moines takes a temperature reading during the Polk County Water Quality Snapshot with sons Jacob (top right), Jordan (bottom left) and Justin (bottom right).

Michelle Hamilton of Des Moines takes a temperature reading during the Polk County Water Quality Snapshot with sons Jacob (top right), Jordan (bottom left) and Justin (bottom right).

The Council’s past president and executive director of public policy for the Iowa Association of Water Agencies, Linda Kinman, who participated in the snapshot event, explained how clean drinking water at the tap starts with protecting Iowa’s rivers, lakes and groundwater:

“Drinking water comes from a variety of surface and ground water sources and requires a multitude of treatment technologies to ensure safe and healthy drinking water. Most of us think it is as simple as turning on the tap. But every EPA-regulated public drinking water system in Iowa must take poor quality water found in our rivers, lakes and even ground water and turn it into safe drinking water. The benefits of clean water influence the daily lives of children and adults, economic development, and impact the quality of life in a community for generations to come. All Iowans must become more aware of the water resources around them and work to improve and protect them.”

The Council is committed to working together with the public and private sectors to achieve cleaner water statewide so that Iowans can be confident about their drinking water and feel safe canoeing, fishing, or swimming in Iowa rivers and lakes.

Anyone can support clean water for our state–starting where you live.  Many resources are available to get started.

  • EPA’s Surf Your Watershed website allows you to learn about where rain that falls on your home or business ultimately travels on its way downstream.
  • Rainscaping Iowa provides resources for protecting water quality where you live with attractive landscaping solutions like rain gardens or rain barrels.
  • The IOWATER volunteer monitoring program allows all Iowans to participate in tracking water quality around our state–including through events like the Polk County snapshot.

Finally, good water quality requires good public policy.  The Council’s water program has been working to achieve clean water success in Iowa for almost two decades.  Your support of that program helps us achieve even more!

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One response to “Clean water at the tap starts with protecting rivers, lakes, groundwater across Iowa

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