"Iowa’s largest water utility may soon file a lawsuit challenging the state’s voluntary approach to dealing with farm fertilizer run-off.
“There aren’t voluntary regulations on air traffic control or speed limits. When it comes to public safety, voluntarism simply doesn’t work and those of us who are in the business of protecting the natural resources and public safety and health of this state ultimately have not found any kind of comfort through legislative action in Iowa,” says Bill Stowe, CEO and General Manager of the Des Moines Water Works. “All of us I’m confident who are serious about it and have the resources are looking at legal action.”
The Des Moines Water Works gets the water for its quarter of a million customers from the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers and nitrate levels have been at unacceptable levels in both rivers since September. That has forced additional treatment of the water to make it safe to drink — an extra cost for Stowe’s customers."