What is Source Water Protection?

Living in Iowa many of us are aware of how water quality has become something of a hot button issue. Nitrates, atrazine, and other chemicals commonly used in agriculture can be a risk to drinking water and the health of Iowa’s population. In order to improve the water quality of the state, Iowa’s DNR has created a program dedicated to improving water quality (Source Water Protection).   

Source Water is defined as any lake, stream, river, or aquifer from which drinking water is obtained. Source water Protection is the prevention of contaminants from entering public drinking water sources. The majority of Iowa’s small towns rely on shallow aquifers which are highly susceptible to pollutants. Thus, certain steps must be taken to ensure their water quality.  

How it Works:

Source Water Protection works through a series of actions helping to lower the levels of pollutants in drinking water. Source water actions can be broken up into separate categories based on the entity which is working on them or their purpose (landowners, local government, education and outreach etc.). For instance, a landowner action could be to plant a cover crop.

The City of Guthrie Center has taken the initiative to start Source Water Protection planning in order to maintain the high standards of drinking water citizens have come to expect. Throughout 2016/2017 City administrators and Landowners (who live near the well area) have been meeting to discuss ideas regarding how to ensure Guthrie Center’s future water quality. 

Where to Learn More:

If you are interested in learning more about Source Water Protection you can contact Erick VanCura (Guthrie Center Utilities).

The Iowa DNR has resources available online regarding Guthrie Center Municipal Utilities Source Water Protection.

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