April 22, 2019

On Earth Day, Des Moines Water Works Encourages All Iowans to Think Downstream

It’s a simple fact that everyone knows: water flows downstream.  As water travels downstream, it also brings with it many other things along the way like soil, debris, and other contaminants.

For Earth Day, Des Moines Water Works is encouraging everyone to Think Downstream, and this year, Des Moines Water Works is leading by example. For more than 25 years, Des Moines Water Works has been issued a permit to discharge the waste from its Nitrate Removal Facility back into the Raccoon River.  Over the past few years, Des Moines Water Works worked with regulators at Iowa DNR and staff at Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) on a process to divert Nitrate Removal Facility waste from entering the Raccoon River at the Fleur Drive plant, for treatment at the WRA.

Construction and testing for a $2.5 million pump station and pipe for the waste from the Nitrate Removal Facility to the WRA are now complete.  Moving forward, when the Nitrate Removal Facility is in operation, the WRA will receive DMWW’s nitrate removal waste where the nitrate will be treated through controlled biological environments within the WRA facility.  In addition, a beneficial reuse product called biosolids is produced for land application on agricultural fields in the Des Moines River Watershed (Polk and Jasper Counties).

“Investing in multi-million-dollar capital improvements to enhance treatment processes is one solution to deal with pollution in our source waters; however, improved upstream land use practices can reduce nutrient concentrations in downstream drinking water sources,” said Ted Corrigan, Interim CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works.  “All Iowans need to take responsibility for improving Iowa’s water quality. We encourage everyone to Think Downstream and consider what they may do to help make Iowa’s water safe for drinking and recreation.

“Both Des Moines Water Works and Des Moines WRA consider and view this venture as a major step towards environmental stewardship and are fully committed to the positive results it will yield: safe drinking water for central Iowa with a major reduction of contaminants being discharged back into our waterways that flow downstream to the next community,” said Scott Hutchens, Director, Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority.

For a video on Des Moines Water Works’ Think Downstream initiative, visit: www.thinkdownstream.com

Posted by: Laura Sarcone 1 Comment
Labels: , Posted in Conservation, Environment, Source Water, Water Treatment

One Response to “On Earth Day, Des Moines Water Works Encourages All Iowans to Think Downstream”

  1. May 25, 2019 at 11:08 am, Gordon Garrison said:

    Think upstream and locate and identify the source. Easiest and best place to control nitrates is at the source. Dilution makes the solution much more expensive and does little to conserve the nitrate resource. Hold the upstream owners accountable.

    Reply

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