DES MOINES — Des Moines Water Works has asked customers to reduce water use because of persistently high nitrate concentrations in nearby rivers.
The utility announced Thursday that customers have been told to reduce the time sprinklers are on because of highly polluted water in the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers. They've also been asked to water their lawns on odd or even days.
Officials said the record-setting concentrations in the rivers require extensive treatment at a nitrate removal facility that's operating at maximum capacity. The utility has been using alternate sources of water, but they're not adequate to meet a customer demand of 70 million gallons a day.
The utility says if water use does not decrease, it will be unable to meet the federal contaminant level for nitrate.
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