My home drinking water source comes from the Xenia Rural Water District. Depending on where you are located within the district, your water comes from an alluvial aquifer, or surface water from the Raccoon River or the Des Moines River. The water is treated and delivered to my home and, according to their web page, over 9,400 other customers.
In addition to my water service, I also have a private well I maintain. The well was my primary source of water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and laundry until about 10 years ago when I had the opportunity to join the water district. The reasons for doing so were simply the fact I didn’t like the sulfur odor in my well water, and I got tired of my whites turning a faded rusty color. The water from the well was safe to drink. This well still serves as my main source of water for all outdoor activities at my acreage. And yes, occasionally, I still drink from this source. To protect my well, the wellhead has been covered and my husband and I never mix pesticides near the well. We also make sure we follow proper procedures to prevent back-syphoning.
May 1-8 is Source Water Protection Week in Iowa. Whether your drinking water comes from your private well, or a rural water district, or a municipality, we all have an obligation and role to protect source waters in Iowa. You can read all about the Iowa Source Water Collaboration at this press release or you can visit the Iowa Source Water Ag Collaborative web page for information on how to inspect, maintain, or test your drinking water from your private well; access resources for communities; or learn more about conservation practices that farmers use to protect groundwater sources used for drinking water.