Belle Plaine looks to upgrade water wells

Belle Plaine is currently under water restrictions to allow the wells to rest and catch back up with water usage.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 6:29 PM CDT
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BELLE PLAINE, Iowa (KCRG) - The current drought situation has one eastern Iowa city taking another look at their water systems.

Belle Plaine in Benton County gets its water from five underground wells. Four of those wells are shallow and are filtered naturally by plants and sands. The fifth well is deeper, and the city pulls water from it during drought situations.

The city built the deep well in 1988 and does not have a treatment plant attached to it. The water in that well contains certain minerals that need to be removed because they lower water quality. When needed, the city blends that water with water from the other four wells, diluting the minerals, then treats the mixture so it’s safe to consume.

With the current drought, the city is now looking to add a filter to that well.

“Well #6, being higher in calcium carbonate, iron, and manganese will have to be removed so we are working with an engineering firm to get a game plan set up for treatment of well #6 water because the chemistry in that well water is different than in the shallow well water,” said city administrator Stephen Beck.

The city is in the early planning stages of this upgrade and Beck says it could cost a few million dollars. He says the city will apply for available funding and grants.

The city of Belle Plaine follows standards set by the EPA and Iowa DNR for their water quality.

“If we’re testing for chlorine residual, that’s tested daily, and since we have Well #6 running with other wells, we’re testing chlorine. We’re usually supported to test that in 3 places a day,” Beck said. ”That’s part of the permitting and state code to make sure we have a disinfectant quality in the water at all places at all times. “

Some people in Belle Plaine reached out to TV9 saying their water was turning yellow. Beck said most residents are not seeing that discoloration from the use of Well #6.

”The discolored water comes from water leaks in an area or if we have a fire in an area or a fire training goes out to a fire out in the country and comes back and fills up the fire truck, then that kind of stirs up sediment in the line,” Beck said,

Beck said that if any residents are experiencing discolored water, they should report it to city hall.

Belle Plaine is currently under water restrictions to allow the wells to rest and catch back up with water usage.

Editor’s note: Portions of this video use past file footage.