Nitrate concentrations in the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers, two of our drinking water sources, are Des Moines Water Works’ biggest water quality problem. Trending data shows that nitrate concentrations in the rivers have steadily increased in the past 25 years and indicates a continuation of this upward trend. To treat 10 million gallons of water per day, the operating and labor costs for the nitrate removal facility (pictured here) can add up to U.S. $10,000 a day. It is becoming increasing difficult for Des Moines Water Works to meet the water demand of our customers without regulation of pollutants in our source water. Record high nitrate concentrations will demand significant future capital investments to remove this pollutant and provide safe drinking water to a growing central Iowa. Image courtesy of Des Moines Water Works.