Iowa DNR lists more than 700 waterways as impaired

More than 700 bodies of water in Iowa are not meeting the state's quality standards.
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 5:27 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - Are your favorite waterways not meeting state quality standards? The Iowa Department of Natural Resources released its list of impaired waters.

There are more than 700 state lakes, rivers, reservoirs, or wetlands on the DNR’s Impaired Waters Listing.

That includes Lake Petocka, on the north side of Bondurant. It made the list because of a fish kill caused by chlorine.

The DNR splits Iowa waterways into 5 categories. 1 is the best, 5 is the worst. An interactive map on the DNR’s website shows bodies of waters in categories 4 and 5. You can then click on that waterway to learn what’s wrong with it.

In Cedar Rapids, it shows the portion of the Cedar River that runs through downtown as a Category 4, due to the E. coli bacteria. In Dubuque, the portion of the Mississippi River south of downtown is listed as a Category 5 due to aluminum in the water. And in Fayette, there’s a fish consumption advisory due to Mercury for the Volga River, making it a Category 5.

Other reasons state waterways made the list include algae growth or high PH.

The Water Program Associate Director, with the Iowa Environmental Council, Alicia Vasto, said the DNR’s 2022 Impaired Waters List has remained consistent.

“More than half of Iowa’s waters are impaired. We don’t see any significant changes from previous reports. This is a trend that has remained steady for the last decade,” Vasto said.

Vasto said many of the impaired water problems are a result of agriculture issues. She said it is going to take state leadership to put plans in place to improve our waterways.

Copyright 2022 KCRG. All rights reserved.