August 11, 2011

What’s In the (Source) Water?

Ignorance can be bliss, but most of us would like to be informed about what we are drinking.  For this reason, Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) makes a conscientious effort to share with our customers all of the details pertaining to their drinking water system. Sometimes, the news isn’t always good!

E. coli is a species of bacteria found in the intestinal tract of vertebrates. DMWW lab staff regularly looks for them in our source waters and in our treated drinking water.  E. coli is used as an indicator that water is potentially contaminated with human and animal waste, and therefore possible disease organisms.  Not even one E. coli bacterium can legally be present in drinking water, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.  The numbers in source water can vary from zero to an amazingly high number in both the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers. Des Moines Water Works relies heavily upon these two rivers as sources for fulfilling the Metro area’s daily demand for water. E. coli values over 2 million colonies/100 millimeter are present at times in some of the smaller streams that feed into our rivers.

DMWW’s extensive and rigorous treatment process physically removes or kills all of these bacteria before the water is delivered to customers.  Nonetheless, customers should be aware of the water quality present in Iowa’s water resources, which are the source of drinking water for the state’s residents.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
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