The annual report by the Department of Natural Resources shows just over 88-percent of Iowans who drink from public water supplies got water that met all health standards. Dennis Alt oversees the water supply engineering section of the D-N-R — and says the 2003 results dipped a little.He says overall the number of systems with contaminants was down, but there were single instances of violations in several larger water supplies, which brought the percentage total down. Alt says those single violations in most cases were fixed and the water supplies passed on subsequent tests. Alt says there were no cases of waterborne diseases or deaths reported from public drinking water supplies in 2003. He says it’s been a number of years in Iowa since we’ve had a waterborne disease outbreaks — the last one he can recall was in the mid 70’s. Alt says most Iowans don’t have to worry about opening the tap to their public water supply. He says, “public water supplies in Iowa provide a very high-quality and safe product.” He says Iowa’s drinking water systems fare well against other states. He says they try to compare Iowa with Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri, and while he says they don’t have data for this year, he says they match up well or even better. Iowans who drink from private wells were warned earlier this year about potential problems with their water due to flooding. Alt says public water supplies don’t have the same concerns. He says they haven’t seen any problems with communities, as most of them have deeper wells and have systems that can handle any problems in the water. The state has one-thousand-154 community public water supply systems. The D-N-R report is available on the web at:www.state.ia.us, then go to the D-N-R page.
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