Cedar Rapids, others monitoring nitrate levels in rivers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids, others monitoring nitrate levels in rivers

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According to Megan Murphy from the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste and Recycling Division, the rainy spring has washed nitrogen fertilizer from the soil into rivers, causing the nitrate levels to go up. According to Megan Murphy from the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste and Recycling Division, the rainy spring has washed nitrogen fertilizer from the soil into rivers, causing the nitrate levels to go up.
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Cedar Rapids and other cities across the state are monitoring nitrate levels in rivers due to the wet spring.

According to Megan Murphy from the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste and Recycling Division, the rainy spring has washed nitrogen fertilizer from the soil into rivers, causing the nitrate levels to go up.

Murphy says the problem was exacerbated by last year's drought conditions, which allowed much of the nitrogen to remain in the soil.

She says the nitrate analyzer at the Blairs Ferry Road bridge measured a peak nitrate level of nearly 18.5 mg/l on May 11. The city says this is the highest level ever measured on the Cedar River.

Murphy says that the City of Des Moines started their nitrate removal facility last Friday. This is the first time since 2007 that they have had to use that facility.

The Cedar Rapids Water Division will continue to monitor the nitrate level in their finished water leaving the treatment plant. If it goes above 10 mg/l, the amount set by the Environmental Protection Agency, they will notify the public and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The most recent reading taken at the NorthWest Plant by the Utilities Department Water Division was 7.6 mg/l.

For more information about nitrates and Cedar Rapids Water, visit www.CityofCR.com/WaterReport or http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/nitrate.cfm.  

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