The Alta Municipal Utilities is taking steps to keep their drinking water safe. Ron Chapman, with the help of a team of volunteers from the community, has been working with the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) to develop a plan to keep the city's water supply clean.
Wellhead Protection Plans include a map delineating the area that water is being drawn in to the wells, information on potential contamination sources in the area around the wells, management strategies to reduce the liklihood of contamination and an emergency plan of action if a contamination incident should occur.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages wellhead protection plans. These agencies are responsible for setting and enforcing safe drinking water standards and protecting natural resources, including groundwater.
The Alta Municipal Utilities currently draws water from two active public wells; both are open in the Dakota Aquifer. According to the Iowa Geological Survey, for many aquifers, particularly those overlain by thick layers of glacial till or shall confining beds, the greatest threat for potential contaminant migration to the aquifer may be through existing wells that penetrate through the low permeability materials. Spills of contaminants or other uncontrolled runoff have the potential to migrate down slope through gullies, tributary creeks or drainage tiles and infiltrate into the aquifer through these existing wells.
Clean drinking water is a significant public investment; this plan will help to protect this resource.
Members of the local committee are Ron Chapman, Denny Weber, Randy Lichtenberg, Gary Molgaard, Bob Meredith, Dave Mortensen and Jill Soenen with IAMU.
Any questions regarding the Alta Wellhead Protection Plan can be directed to Ron Chapman at (712) 200-1122. Any cities wishing to initiate a wellhead protection plan may contact Jill Soenen at (800) 810-4268.