The Des Moines Water Works board is expected to move forward today with a lawsuit against three counties in northwest Iowa.
Leaders of the utility claim county supervisors in Calhoun, Buena Vista and Sac Counties have failed to properly manage drainage districts in their area — leading to record high nitrate levels in the Raccoon River, which is used for drinking water in Des Moines.
Bill Stowe, CEO and general manager of the Des Moines Water Works, alleges the drainage districts in the three northwest Iowa counties are violating the federal Clean Water Act. Stowe says the system to remove the nitrates costs $7,000 per day to operate.
The Des Moines Water Works board is expected to vote on the potential litigation this afternoon.