DNR tests for presence of ‘forever chemicals’ in Iowa drinking water

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 12:14 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - The Iowa DNR said testing found so-called “forever chemicals” linked to cancer in about 45-percent of Iowa’s drinking water systems, and one in 10 was above health limits.

The state tested 116 Iowa water systems for PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals.” Those chemicals are used in manufacturing of all sorts of products, and can leach into drinking water systems.

Dubuque and Central City have recently detected the chemicals. Ames had to shut down one of its 22 wells when it found PFAS late last year.

“In the one well that we took out of service was in the proximity of a former firefighter training area, so it’s not determined for sure that it was the cause of contamination but it could be,” said Lyle Hammes, assistant director at the Ames Water and Pollution Control Department.

This month, the EPA proposed tightening regulations on PFAS.

The Iowa DNR said many water systems have already taken steps to reduce or remove the chemicals.