West Des Moines, Iowa
What is the Water Quality in West Des Moines, Iowa?
Compared to other US cities, West Des Moines water quality ranks in the high range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 34 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 278x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 94x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 211x health guidelines.
- These are both byproducts of the chlorine treatment process most water supplies go through.
Let’s look closer at what’s in West Des Moines water.
What’s in West Des Moines water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 34 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
15 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does West Des Moines have Lead contamination?
No, West Des Moines does not currently have lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected in 2019 showed concentrations of 0.0 parts per billion (ppb).
The legal limit for lead is 15 parts per billion. Being well-below this level is a good thing.
- Concentrations between 3.8 ppb and 15 ppb put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels. Read more about the symptoms of Lead in water.
There is no safe level of lead for humans.
- The good news is that 99.99% of the lead can be removed.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does West Des Moines’s water come from?
West Des Moines’s water comes from the Jordan Creek – Raccoon River watershed.
Four of the five EPA assessed water sources in the Jordan Creek – Raccoon River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- Grays Lake – Unknown
- Jordan Creek – Unknown
- Raccoon River – multiple sections Impaired
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Dale Maffitt Reservoir is in Good condition.
Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of these uses:
- Drinking Water
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve West Des Moines’s water.
What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in West Des Moines can be surprising.
But there are things you can do in your home to clean up your water.
To Remove Lead and Other Contaminants In Your Home:
There is one solution that beats Brita, PUR, and expensive whole house systems.
- It costs less per gallon.
- Needs fewer filter changes.
- And it doesn’t make your water taste weird.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 85% of contaminants in your drinking water.
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99.99% of any Lead in West Des Moines water.
- Brita can filter 19 contaminants and Lead depending on the filter.
- Note: We may receive a commission if you decide to purchase filters through links on this page.
- To filter out 30 of the 34 contaminants, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your house.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- Atrazine – herbicide
- Haloacetic acids
- Hexavalent chromium
- Metolachlor – herbicide. See: Safety and ecological effects
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
*Chlorination is an effective method of disinfecting/treating drinking water. You can then use a water filter to reduce the effects of chlorination byproducts to get the safest, cleanest water possible.
In Your Community:
Contact your local government officials and put pressure on them to invest in cleaner waterways and upgraded city water filtration and treatment.
Go to: https://www.wdm.iowa.gov/government to find contact information for your local officials.