Iowans get their drinking water from virtually every type of source there is. Lakes, rivers, and streams all flow together into reservoirs that hold surface water for later treatment and use. Groundwater is brought to the surface by wells for public consumption, as well.
Water reaching Iowa cities often travels vast distances over the ground, under the surface, and through miles of pipes and tunnels. As this water makes its journey it often undergoes multiple phases of mineral and earth metal absorption.
Like most water systems, Iowa residents commonly experience hard water. Hard water forms as the naturally occurring minerals and metals are absorbed into the water. Hard water, like any treated water, is safe to drink but can cause issues around the home or business.
Common Water Problems by City
Each locality deals with both similar and different problems. Areas can be differently impacted by contaminants and pollutants resulting in different treatment methods and water quality.
Des Moines River
Cedar Alluvial Aquifer
High Mineral Content
High Mineral Content
Des Moines is a relatively populous city with over half a million residents calling the city home. The water needs of all these residents are met by two rivers that flow in the area. Various agricultural and industrial impacts make their way into these rivers and are treated by the water authority.
While the water is treated for harmful contaminants, its natural properties make it hard water. Hard water can cause myriad issues around the home and business.
Limescale forms from hard water and can leave spots on glassware even after being run through the dishwasher. Pots and pans may appear spotted, as well.
Hard water also notoriously causes dry skin and itchy scalps for those who bathe in it. Hard water can be treated at the home or business by a qualified water expert or softening system.
The unique water procurement process used by the water authority in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, requires the use of wells to pull water from an alluvial aquifer. This type of aquifer features water being held in sand and gravel layers.
The wells are placed on the banks of the Cedar River and as the river water seeps into the neighboring aquifer through the sand and stone, a natural filtration occurs. This type of filtration is essentially the first treatment before the water even enters the public system.
Unfortunately, the natural filtration is not enough and the water must be treated further, often with chlorine. This can, at times of high chlorination, impact the taste and smell of the water emanating from your tap.
As the water passes through the riverbank and deeper levels of sand and rock, it absorbs naturally occurring minerals and metals. This leads to a condition known as hard water, which can cause issues around the house like poorly performing appliances and spots on glassware.
Hard water is also known to cause itchy, dry skin for those using it to bathe in. Most public systems cannot treat the hard water enough to eliminate it so an at-home or at-business system must be utilized to deal with hard water problems.
Those residing in Sioux City undoubtedly deal with hard water coming into their home from the public water supply. The entirety of the Sioux City supply comes from wells drilled down into aquifers.
As water feeds through the layers of sand and rock to reach the aquifers, it absorbs minerals and earth metals. This process continues as water travels to treatment facilities and through the pipes that feed homes and businesses in Sioux City.
This mineral content causes the condition called hard water and can cause some domestic issues like spotty glassware, soap scum in showers, and appliances that suffer from inefficiency. Most people complain of dry skin after bathing in hard water.