Boone Water Works customers demand action on nitrate pollution

Des Moines, IA.  Boone Water Works is in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act due to high Nitrate levels in drinking water sources.  Iowa CCI members, who are ratepayers of Boone and Xenia Water, say that Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship, and Governor Branstad aren’t doing enough to protect Iowans from harmful nitrate pollution coming from factory farm manure and ag fertilizer.

“We have been on Xenia Rural Water since 1997.  We signed on as soon as it became available to us because our well water was not good.  And now because our Governor has refused to address this huge elephant in the room, water systems across Iowa are at risk. This is the first time Xenia has had a high-nitrate alert, but with the current state of affairs I see that it won’t be the last”, said Brenda Brink, Xenia ratepayer and resident of Huxley, Iowa.

“I am so angry that we as citizens cannot depend on our elected officials to ensure safe drinking water.  Apparently, our Governor thinks that Avian flu is worth his attention while the people of this state cannot drink the water, cannot fish in its rivers and streams and cannot allow their children to enjoy natural parks and creeks, for fear of ag-related nitrate run-off.  Instead of putting up signs warning us not to use water, we need the Department of Natural Resources to go after the polluters.  We shouldn’t be paying for their abuse of our water,” said Brink.

“As the water pollution problems continue to increase and move upstream more of us are being poisoned with toxic drinking water.  The Boone County water system cannot handle the ever increasing nitrate levels as the Des Moines, multimillion dollar system is attempting to do.  Our city and county cannot afford to build a new system and so our welfare is being sacrificed to support corporate ag profits.  This is our drinking water, not just our water to recreate in.  It is time to replace our pro-pollution County Board of Supervisors, state representatives, and governor in order to clean up our water,” said Mark Edwards, CCI member and former DNR employee and ratepayer from Boone.

“I believe this is the first time Boone has violated the drinking water standard, if this is the case it is an indication this problem is not getting better.  It would be nice to see something done on the Nitrate issue, whether it’s through courts or the ag community addressing the situation.  I don’t think voluntary is going to work.  It’s not a knock against farmers but it’s just human nature.” Gary Benjamin, CEO/General Manager of Xenia Water.

Iowa CCI members that the only way to address this issue is to go directly after the source of the pollution – factory farm manure and ag fertilizer.  CCI members are demanding Clean Water Act permits be issued to factory farms in Iowa so they are held to tougher standards or are shutdown.  CCI members also believe that voluntary measure do not and will not work.

Iowa’s more than 20 million hogs confined in thousands of factory farms produce nearly ten billion gallons of toxic manure every year.  There have been more than 758 manure spills since 1996 and Iowa currently has more than 725 polluted waterways.

 

They DUMP it, you DRINK it, we won’t stop ’til they clean it up!

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