Water Quality and Conservation Practices

Iowa's Section 303(d) Impaired Waters Listings

Under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, states are required from "time to time" to submit a list of waters for which effluent limits will not be sufficient to meet all state water quality standards. EPA has defined "time to time" to mean April 1 of even numbered years. The failure to meet water quality standards might be due to an individual pollutant, multiple pollutants, "pollution," or an unknown cause of impairment. The 303(d) listing process includes waters impaired by point sources and non-point sources of pollutants.

Iowa Water Center

Established in 1964, the Iowa Center (IWC) is a federally funded program. Its purposes are to identify research needs and fund selected projects about Iowa’s water quality, water quantity, and the human dimensions of water-resources management, provide outreach and education opportunities to familiarize water-resource professionals, teachers, and students with current research about Iowa’s water resources, disseminate information about Iowa’s water resources to water-resource specialists, teachers, students, policymakers, and the general public.

Questions and Answers Regarding Nitrogen and Water Quality

Due to increased awareness of nutrient management and water quality, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has received a number of questions about nitrogen movement from Iowa’s cropping systems into surface and subsurface water. The following frequently asked questions and answers have been prepared to clarify aspects of nitrogen management and nitrogen movement in the soil system.

Water Quality Talking Points

Iowa's Stream Monitoring Program

Since October 1999, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has maintained a network of stations to monitor water quality in the state. A total of 91 sites have been part of this network. However, the total number of stations monitored varies each year. The most stations sampled was in 2003-2006 when a total of 84 stream sites and 1 spring were sampled. Currently, a total of 75 stream sites and 1 spring are sampled.
 
 Generally, the sites in this network are sampled monthly.

Iowa's Beach Water Monitoring Program

Routine water quality monitoring is conducted at all of the State Park beaches and many locally managed beaches in Iowa. In order to help protect the health of those wishing to recreate at the beaches, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources works with various public health and management agencies throughout the state to inform the public of the most current water quality conditions. Outdoor recreation at beaches in Iowa is typically limited to the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

How's My Waterway?

Learn the condition of local streams, lakes and other waters anywhere in the US... quickly and in plain language. See if your local waterway was checked for pollution, what was found, and what is being done. The source of this information is a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) database of State water quality monitoring reports provided under the Clean Water Act.

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