The recent rains are providing a mixed blessing for lakes. rivers and streams. Kevin Baskins of the Iowa D-N-R says the rains replenishes the water bodies that’ve been bone dry for months — but they also wash in some stuff the waterways could do without. He says the dry weather allowed manure and other to accumulate in the watersheds, and it gets washed into the rivers and streams. Since the water levels have been low, Baskins says the manure and other wastes are more concentrated once they get into the streams and rivers. Baskins says they haven’t had a lot of reports of problems from the most recent rains — but there’s often a delay. He says it usually takes a day or so before people notice a problem and report it. He cites the example of the Delaware County kill in which the fish had been dead a few days before it was reported. Baskins says the torrent of rain in some areas adds to the delay. Baskins says the big rainfalls created lots of problems last week for city sewage treatment, as many of them had to bypass sewage into waterways. He says it’s not the best situation, but the alternative would be to have sewer back up in people’s basements, and Baskins says that’s more of a health risk. He says city’s are trying to upgrade their sewage systems to alleviate some of the problem. He says they have loan program to help city’s upgrade their system.
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