New Information and News on Nitrate

USGS Publishes Study Finds Decades-Old Nitrate in Groundwater is Impacting Water Quality in Streams and Rivers


On May 7, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) published a study entitled, “Decades-old Nitrate Found to Affect Stream Water Quality.”  In this study, USGS scientists closely examined surface and ground waters at seven study sites from across the nation to find that most of the nitrate observed in streams located in groundwater-dominated watersheds was derived from groundwater sources. The slow release of groundwater nitrate to streams may also affect the water quality of large rivers. These findings also suggest that increasing nitrate concentrations in groundwater are having a substantial effect on nitrate concentrations in rivers and nitrate transport to the Gulf of Mexico. Because nitrate moves slowly through groundwater to rivers, the full effect of management strategies designed to reduce nitrate movement to these rivers may not be seen for many years.  For more information about the study and USGS programs, visit the web site HERE.


Des Moines Register Reports that Nitrates in Rivers Hit Record Levels


On May 10, the Des Moines Register published an article entitled, “Record nitrate levels in Raccoon, Des Moines threaten Des Moines-area tap water.”  The article discusses the associated costs of operating the Des Moines Water Works nitrate removal facility to ensure public health and meet Federal SDWA requirements.  The article also provides statements from the utility’s general manager and the spokeswoman for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation related to voluntary conservation efforts on farms and record rains that affect nutrient runoff.  To view the article, visit the web site HERE.


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