There's been a lot of news lately about the cleanliness and quality of Iowa's public drinking water. There have been several cities where the results from the Iowa DNR have not been good news. The exact opposite, in fact.

Municipal Water in Cedar Rapids is More Than Safe

After the IDNR (Iowa Department of Natural Resources) tested samples of potable water for different chemicals, they found that the local water treatment practices are doing extremely well in keeping everyone's water safe to drink.

The DNR tests for 25 different compounds as part of the state action plan to keep Iowan's from ingesting Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). PFAS are a class of compounds that can be released into public water, waterways, and runoffs. Plenty of consumer products can have these compounds. Anything from paper products that food comes in, to clothing, fabric coverings for furniture, as well as oil and other water-resistant liquids. These many compounds can cause health issues when ingested in small to medium amounts or accumulated over periods of time.

Photo by Bluewater Sweden on Unsplash
Photo by Bluewater Sweden on Unsplash
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has only set a Health Advisory Level for two of the 25 compounds, (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) and (Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid). 70 parts per trillion are considered Advisory Level. That's like saying if the city was pumping 36 million gallons of water a day, 70 ppt would be 2 drops of liquid into it.

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash
Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash
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Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) was birt found in any of the finished water (already treated and filtered) and only 4.7 ppt of Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS) was detected in one city well. Multiple wells are running, of course, and all are treated and filtered before leaving the facility as "finished". No PFOS or PFOA were found in a sampling of that water and only one of the 25 PFAS compounds, Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) was found and at only 2.3 ppt in the water leaving the water treatment plant. This is well less than the average so there are no advisories or action needed for it to be safe.

“At the City of Cedar Rapids, we take water and water quality very seriously. Our drinking water is safe and is well within the EPA and DNR standards. We will continue to work with the Iowa DNR to monitor PFAS and will keep providing our community with safe, high quality drinking water.” - Water Plant Manager Christine Knapp

The city continues to test and monitor the water regularly and the DNR will continue to monitor water samples, quarterly and report findings on the Iowa DNR website.

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