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Water Quality and Water Pollution David Osterberg College of Public Health, University of Iowa Mary Skopec Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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Presentation on theme: "Water Quality and Water Pollution David Osterberg College of Public Health, University of Iowa Mary Skopec Iowa Department of Natural Resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water Quality and Water Pollution David Osterberg College of Public Health, University of Iowa Mary Skopec Iowa Department of Natural Resources

2 World Health Organization Cyanobacterial Toxins Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae occur worldwide especially in calm, nutrient-rich waters. Some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins that affect animals and humans. People may be exposed to cyanobacterial toxins by drinking, bathing in, or inhaling contaminated water.

3 Slide by Hans Paerl, UNC – Chapel Hill

4 Toledo Ohio water intake surrounded by algae Aug 3, 2014 2.5 miles from shore of Lake Erie

5 Washington Post The toxin that shut off Toledo’s water? The feds don’t make you test for it. August 11, 2014 There are no national standards for algal cyanotoxins in drinking water. U.S. utilities don’t need to test for it. How widespread the toxin is in drinking water is a mystery. Monitoring is voluntary. …The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for years has discussed drafting rules to cover cyanotoxins but hasn’t acted. And with these algal blooms predicted to worsen in Lake Erie and other lakes and reservoirs — thanks to a mix of global warming, invasive species and pollution — the issue is expected to pop up more often. Some believe Toledo could be a tipping point.

6 Iowa Policy Project Paper Heffernan and Galluzzo - 2009 Pond Scum — Looking Beneath the Surface of Iowa Waters Dealing with Cyanobacteria (or Blue-Green Algae) and the Impact of Excess Nutrients State policy has left Iowa waterways open to contamination by bacteria resulting from phosphorus and other nutrients in runoff from both farm fields and urban sources. Full Report (PDF, 13 pg) 12/17/09 Executive Summary (PDF, 4 pg) News Release (PDF, 2 pg) Full Report Executive Summary News Release

7 Pond Scum—Looking Beneath the Surface of Iowa Waters


9 Water Res.Water Res. 2012 Apr 1;46(5):1372-93. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2011.11.052. Epub 2011 Nov 25. Effects of rainfall patterns on toxic cyanobacterial blooms in a changing climate: between simplistic scenarios and complex dynamics. Reichwaldt ES 1, Ghadouani A. Reichwaldt ESGhadouani A This review …identifies mechanisms that influence … toxic cyanobacterial blooms. … Such changes in the rainfall patterns will lead to favourable conditions for cyanobacterial growth due to a greater nutrient input into waterbodies during heavy rainfall events, combined with potentially longer periods of high evaporation and stratification.

10 Year Number of Microcystin Advisories* 201422 201324 201214 20117 20102 *Weekly Monitoring of 38 State Owned Beaches Iowa Department of Natural Resources Beach Monitoring Advisories

11 Exceedances of E. coli Bacteria Standard 39 Iowa Public Beaches

12 What else does heavy rain bring?

13 Source: Flooding in the Midwest 2008, USGS Professional Paper 1775 Percentage Changes in Median Annual Peak Streamflow: 1958-2007


15 Advice from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Avoid any physical contact with the water. Floodwaters can have dangerous currents, and there are also hazards of pathogens in the water. If you have been in contact with floodwaters, avoid touching your mouth or eyes, and try to thoroughly wash off as quickly as possible. Also, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services advises that wells owners near flooded areas should take proactive measures to prevent private well contamination, and have their wells tested.

16 Analysis of Monthly Waste Water ByPass information from Iowa DNR – April 2009 to October 2013 Heavy rains and saturated conditions overwhelmed collection system and treatment plant Summary data being sought

17 Example – June 2014 Rainfall Related Wastewater By-Passes

18 Monthly Precipitation Totals June 2014

19 Field Office #1 (Northeast Iowa) Marion Watkins - possible Sumner West Union Denver Dubuque Cedar Falls Belle Plain Lisbon Wyoming La Port City Field Office 5 (Central Iowa) Grimes LeGrand Montezuma Montour Kellogg McCallsburg Melcher-Dallas Melbourne Newton Brooklyn Monroe Oskaloosa Tama Winterset Bondurant Pella Field Office 6 (Southeast Iowa) City of Riverside North English West Liberty Fairfield Davenport Winfield Ainsworth Buffalo Wastewater By-Passes During Period June 17 – 20, 2014

20 Field Office 2 (North Central Iowa) Fort Dodge (250,000 gallons/day) Coulter Latimer/Coulter* Britt* Blairsburg* Algona Williams* Swea City* Hampton Rutland* Eagle Grove Humboldt Burt *from lift station and/or manhole Field Office 3 (Northwest Iowa) Lake Park* Sheldon Iowa Great Lakes* Melvin * Cherokee * Pocahontas Hartley* Lytton* Lester Sioux Center* Sutherland* Aurelia* Holstein * Alta * Lost Island S. Dist. (Ruthven) *from lift station and/or manhole Lake Mills Wellsburg Forest City Dike Belmond Dakota City Eagle Grove Iowa Falls Grundy Center Fertile Thornton Meservey Albert City George * Orange City * Laurens Hornick* Storm Lake* Emmetsburg Spencer (CSOs) Marcus * Everly* Correctionville* Fonda* Royal * Archer* Hull* Inwood* Peterson*

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