Iowa City Water Cleanest Ever

June 24, 2004

According to Iowa City's annual Consumer Confidence Report for 2003, water is cleaner than ever.

This is the first report done since Iowa City's new $26 million water plant began pumping water to the community. The plant is part of a $49 million water purification facility that uses new water sources and an upgraded distribution system.

"The water is a lot cleaner than it was one year ago when we were still under the old water plant," said Carol Sweeting, public information and education coordinator for the city's water plant.

The new plant, built on a 230-acre site at 2551 N. Dubuque St, went online last March. The annual consumer report was developed to help users understand where their water comes from and how it is treated. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agency regulate Iowa municipal water supplies and require Iowa City to monitor for more than 80 water impurities, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

The 2003 results show Iowa City's water tests well below all the highest allowable levels according to the EPA. Including radioactive contaminants such as Alpha Emitters and inorganic contaminants like sodium and chlorine.

According to Sweeting, everything tested well below the limit and she added that the last time Iowa City had to notify the public that chemical levels had crossed the highest allowable threshold was in the early 1990s. "We had difficulty with nitrates. But since then, we have not had to notify the public for a substance being above the limit."

The consumer report from 2002, however, did show higher contamination. While there was no radium found in the 2003 report, according to Iowa City Press-Citizen, previous numbers show some contamination, and in 2002 officials detected 100 parts per million of sulfate in the water. Only 54 parts per million were found in the recent report.

Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen