Jan 05, 2018

Iowa Maintains Recreational Water Bodies Quality Standard

The Environmental Protection Committee rejected a proposed decrease in E.coli standards

Iowa rejects water quality regulation change

The Environmental Protection Committee (EPC) of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) rejected a proposal to eliminate the Single Sample Maximum E.coli bacteria standard. 

The current standard monitors the standard of E.coli bacteria contamination acceptable in recreational bodies of water. The single sample standard is 235 organisms per 100 mL of water and this standard applies to bodies of water where people swim, such as public beaches. The secondary sample standard is 2,8800 organisms per 100 mL and this standard applies to bodies of water where contact is generally accidental, such as boating only areas.

The proposed change in the standard would spell less pollution monitoring for recreational water bodies, but was rejected during the EPC’s December session. According to Susan Heathcote, a water program director at the Iowa Environmental Council (IEC), “over 700 Iowanas opposed the proposed change in the standard. That’s probably a record for the number of people taking action.”

Federal regulations require states to review water quality standards every three years. Iowa will face their water quality standard review in 2018.