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Public comment sought for impaired waters list

  • 4/14/2017 3:06:00 PM
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DES MOINES -- The DNR is seeking public comment on the newly released draft impaired waters list. Data released by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, today, shows 56 impairments will be removed from the 2014 impaired list, once approved by the EPA.

Of the 1,378 water segments studied, which include portions of rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, and wetlands, 327 segments fully met the Iowa water quality standards for their intended use, while 301 segments were identified as waters in need of further investigation and 750 segments did not fully meet the standards needed for their intended use and were impaired.

“The increase in impaired waters does not necessarily mean that the water quality in the state is worsening, it often is a reflection of the additional monitoring we are conducting,” said Roger Bruner, supervisor of the DNR’s Water Monitoring and Assessment section.

This report identifies surface waters that do not fully meet all applicable state water quality standards for their intended use and that need a water quality improvement plan.

3-Step Process for Impaired Waters Study [PDF]

The DNR uses fixed station river monitoring, lake monitoring and beach monitoring, wadeable stream biological monitoring, fish contamination monitoring and wetland/shallow lakes monitoring. Several other data are also analyzed before determining whether a water segment does or does not meet the requirements like the DNR’s Fish Kill database, along with federal and municipal data and surrounding states’ data. 

All Iowa waters are designated for a combination of aquatic life protection, water contact recreation, drinking water and human health protection.

“The DNR works diligently to identify impaired waters and coordinates with stakeholders on improving those areas to eventually remove them from the list by sponsoring and funding watershed projects throughout the state,” said DNR Director Chuck Gipp.

The DNR works to identify and improve Iowa’s water quality and looks forward to working together with landowners and the public. Therefore, public comment is encouraged now through May 29, 2017 and should be sent to:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Attn: Dan Kendall
Water Quality Monitoring & Assessment Section
Wallace State Office Building
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319