New bioreactor to prevent water pollution in Cedar Rapids

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 8:36 AM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A new project in Cedar Rapids aims to prevent water pollution from nearby farmland.

Crews got to work building a bio-reactor on Thursday, next to the Tuma Sports Complex on C Avenue Northeast.

It’s basically a trench that’s filled with wood chips. Those woodchips collect drainage water from farmland, and will absorb pollutants. That lets cleaner water flow into the nearby Dry Creek.

City leaders say this project plays a role well beyond Cedar Rapids.

“That protects our drinking water source, which is very important to us,” Cedar Rapids Watershed Coordinator Mary Beth Stevenson said. “And it also has benefits for the Gulf of Mexico. The dead zone. A lot of the issues leading to the dead zone are caused by agricultural fertilizers in the Midwest.”

The city said other, similar projects have reduced nitrate concentration in water going through the wood chips by about 42 percent.

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