2019 flood impact
SW Iowa Flood Adds To Safe Drinking Water Challenges
A rural water supply main doesn’t run by Jamie and Bradley Stephens’ southwest Iowa home in Mills County. “If it did, I would hook into it in a heartbeat,” said Jamie Stephens, as she battled in late May to get safe drinking water from a well overtopped for a week this spring by Missouri River floodwaters. Contamination of private well water in southwest Iowa from human and natural causes is a problem even in dry times. But in this year of prolonged flooding, well owners have heightened concerns and are keeping county health officials busy testing water for contaminants such as coliform and E. coli bacteria, nitrates and arsenic. More well owners are availing themselves of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources program that pays for private well testing.