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There are 9 beach advisories for the week of 7/14

8 Beaches with an E. coli Advisory: Backbone Beach (Dundee, Delaware County, IA)* Black Hawk Beach (Lake View, Sac County, IA)* Clear Lake State Park Beach (Clear Lake, Cerro Gordo County, IA)* Emerson Bay Beach (West Okoboji Lake, Milford, Dickinson County, IA)* Lake Darling Beach (Brighton, Washington County, IA)* Lake Keomah Beach (Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, IA)* Lower Pine Lake Beach (Eldora, Hardin County, IA)* McIntosh Woods Beach (Clear Lake, Ventura, Cerro Gordo County, IA)*

1 Beach with a Microcystin Advisory: Brushy Creek Beach (Lehigh, Webster County, IA)*

4 City and County Beaches exceed the state’s advisory threshold for E. coli.* View the map on our website to see where they are.

*Data from the Iowa DNR State Park Beach Monitoring Program **Data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District

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Trust Your Tap: Drinking water quality data at your fingertips

The Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC) at the University of Iowa recently launched Iowa Trust Your Tap. Iowa Trust Your Tap was created to help inform Iowans about their drinking water quality by making it easy to find test results for their drinking water providers. The site provides a user-friendly experience that aggregates water system information, test results, and information about water contaminants including their regulated levels and potential health effects. If you don't know which public water system provides your drinking water, the site offers a virtual assistant that will guide you through a series of simple questions and suggest the system your water is most likely to come from. There is also a map to explore systems near you. 

Iowa Trust Your Tap currently provides information and test results for community public water systems and rural water associations. Data on the site is collected by water systems for compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, which protects public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply. The data and information on the site are available through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the US Environmental Protection Agency. 

“We launched Trust Your Tap to provide easily accessible information to Iowans about their drinking water,” said David Cwiertny, Director of CHEEC. “While Iowa has many water quality issues to address, Iowans can trust that the drinking water they get from the tap is safe and compliant with federal drinking water quality standards.”


What's a HUC and how do they connect with water efforts?

HUC (pronounced “huck”) is an acronym that stands for Hydrologic Unit Codes, and is often present in discussions about watersheds and water quality.

HUCs are used nationwide to differentiate drainage areas with a series of numbers, similar to a zip code. “HUC” is often followed by a number (e.g., HUC 2). The number after “HUC” refers to the size of the watershed and the number of digits that are associated with its code. The larger the number, the smaller the watershed. 

Learn more about HUCs in this piece from Partners of Scott County Watersheds.

Protect Millers Bay: Threats from aquatic hitchhikers 

Millers Bay, located in West Okoboji Lake, is known for its calm, shallow waters which make it a popular destination for numerous water recreational activities. Unfortunately, the bay and its aquatic natural species are at risk due to mass anchoring.

Miller's Bay is particularly susceptible to Eurasian Watermilfoil, which can "hitchhike" on anchors and ultimately prevent navigation and recreation activities. Options to address the aquatic invader once established are limited.

Watch a video from Millers Bay Conservancy to learn more about the threat. 

IEC and Partners Announce Environmental Justice Center

EPA Region 7 leadership announced the launch of the Region 7 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center (EJ TCTAC), which includes IEC as the Iowa lead.

The new center will serve communities throughout EPA Region 7, helping underserved and overburdened communities across the country access funds from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, including historic investments to advance environmental justice. 

Watch for more information from IEC as this work develops!


Join Us at the Beach Saturday!

Join us this Saturday for IEC's Beach Bash at George Wyth State Park in Waterloo for beach games, crafts, snacks, music and more! We'll be on site from 12 - 3 p.m. for fun, plus we'll have information on recreational and drinking water issues, environmental justice concerns, and more.

We'll also raffle off a great beach bag packed with summer essentials and RAYGUN merchandise from the Cedar Falls store! RSVP in advance to be automatically entered, or enter when you get there. 

We look forward to seeing you there!


What's new in Iowa's water news:

Getting ‘forever chemicals’ out of drinking water: EWG’s guide to PFAS water filters (EWG)
'It almost looks like urine': Bottled water advisory issued in Kimballton (KCCI) 
Summer heat causes fish kill on the lower Des Moines River (Iowa DNR)
Brenton Slough to open for public use after family sells land (KCCI) 
Federal officials seeking input on protecting Effigy Mounds near Harpers Ferry (IPR)
U.S. House Dems want data on impact of Supreme Court ruling on wetlands protection (Iowa Capital Dispatch) 
Blue spaces: why time spent near water is the secret of happiness (The Guardian) 
The Official Summer Rivers Bucket List (American Rivers)

Upcoming water events

IEC Beach Bash – Black Hawk Co. – July 15 
Kayaking on the Marsh – Jackson Co. - July 15 
Floatchella – Polk Co. – July 15
Mentored Fishing – Johnson Co. – July 15 
Summer Snapshot: Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring – Scott Co. – July 15
Good Morning Cruise – Clinton Co. – July 16 
Mussel Beach Cruise – Clinton Co. – July 16 
River Restoration in Action - Polk Co. – July 18
WOMEN. WOODS. WINE. Canoeing - Henry Co. – July 18 
BOYS. BACKWOODS. BEER. Canoeing – Henry Co. – July 20 
Sunset Eco Cruise – Clinton Co. – July 20 


Follow Us

Iowa Environmental Council
505 Fifth Ave., Suite 850 
 Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2317
515-244-1194 | iecmail@iaenvironment.org

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