At least a dozen water suppliers in Iowa are still providing residents with drinking water contaminated with “forever chemicals”
By Ava Grace // Apr 25, 2024

At least 12 community drinking water supplies in Iowa are unacceptably contaminated with "forever chemicals" linked to various health ailments.

This warning comes as the Environmental Protection Agency implements new drinking water standards that limit certain per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS or forever chemicals, to almost none. Officials say this will reduce exposure for 100 million people and help prevent thousands of illnesses, including cancers.

"It's the first time in more than a decade that the EPA has issued a new regulation that will require Iowa water suppliers to reduce or eliminate a contaminant for public safety," said Corey McCoid, an Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) supervisor who oversees water supply compliance. "It's a big deal." (Related: Biden admin approves more stringent rules covering “forever chemicals” in drinking water).

"Everyone can agree we need to get these things out of our water," said David Cwiertny, a University of Iowa engineering professor and director of the university's Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination. "We're still understanding health effects, but what we know is not good."

PFAS have been used for decades in products including non-stick pans, firefighting foam and waterproof clothing. Although some of the most common types are phased out in the United States, others remain. Water providers will now be forced to remove contamination put in the environment by other industries.

The new rules limit the amount of two common types of PFAS – PFOA and PFOS – that can be detected in drinking water to four parts per trillion. Three other types of PFAS including GenEx chemicals are limited to 10 parts per trillion.

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Within five years, water providers will have to test for these PFAS chemicals and tell the public when levels are too high. Combinations of some PFAS types will be limited, too.

"We've got a lot of communities that are going to need to figure out how to address this," Cwiertny said.

Thousands of Iowans possibly exposed to unsafe levels of PFAS in their water

The Iowa DNR started testing community water supplies for PFAS in 2021. Results available online show 14 water systems, including cities and mobile home parks, whose water tested over four parts per trillion. In other places, PFAS were detected, but below the threshold. In many other places, including Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, PFAS were not found in the public water supply.

PFAS persists in the environment indefinitely and can accumulate in people’s bodies, potentially causing a variety of illnesses and cancers.

They are used in numerous products for their ability to repel oil and water, and the vast majority of Americans are believed to have detectable amounts of them in their blood. Common sources of significant contamination include manufacturers such as 3M Company, landfills and airports and other sites where firefighting foam has been used.

The new federal regulation will generally require water supplies that regularly serve at least 25 people to test for PFAS within the next three years and to mitigate its contamination within five years. That can be accomplished by finding alternate water sources or installing equipment to remove the chemicals.

DNR testing in recent years of water supplies that are most likely to be contaminated has revealed 12 that will be affected by the new rules, McCoid said.

They include utilities that provide drinking water for residents of Buffalo, Burlington, Camanche, Davenport, Dubuque, Muscatine, Osage, Sioux City and Tama.

Also affected are the Kammerer Mobile Home Park and Bayer Crop Science near Muscatine, and a seasonal campground near Bellevue called Peteschs that has some year-round residents.

Several cities with contaminated water have already worked toward fixing the problem, even if their PFAS concentrations are below the new federal threshold, McCoid said. They include Ames, Burlington, Central City, Rock Valley and Tama.

Burlington, which draws water from the Mississippi River, might spend about $20 million on a well field and water treatment improvements, McCoid said.

It’s possible that further testing will reveal PFAS contamination in other water supplies, McCoid added. There are about 1,100 community supplies in Iowa that are subject to the new federal regulation, and the DNR has yet to test about 800 of them. McCoid expects that a handful more might be contaminated.

Watch this clip from "The Kim Iversen Show" as host Kim Iversen and guest Michael Connett discuss how the government is lacing drinking water with medications.

This video is from the Pool Pharmacy channel on

More related stories:

EPA monitoring a new class of toxic PFAS in municipal water supplies – GenX chemicals.

USGS: At least 45% of TAP WATER across the U.S. is contaminated with FOREVER CHEMICALS.

Breakthrough: Canadian scientists develop novel filtration method that permanently removes "forever" chemicals from drinking water.

3M agrees to $10.3 billion settlement over allegations of contaminating public drinking water with "forever chemicals."

The Dr. Ardis Show: Americans unaware that the water they use contains a LOT of CHEMICALS – Brighteon.TV.

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