Counties File Response To Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit

Mon 6-1-2015 []

(Des Moines)-- The three rural Iowa counties targeted in a federal lawsuit by a Des Moines water utility have filed a response denying that they contribute to high nitrate levels in rivers.

Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac counties submitted the response May 22nd.

The lawsuit filed earlier this year says the three counties should be required to obtain federal water pollution discharge permits because they release nitrate pollutants into rivers, much like regulated factories. The suit claims the nitrate comes from fertilizer and manure from 1.2 million hogs and a million turkeys that is spread on fields in the three counties.

Water works also seeks $900,000 it spent in 2013 and $540,000 this year to operate an expensive treatment system and remove nitrates from water.

(From the Associated Press.)