Central Iowans to Devote Day to Clean Water

posted on Monday, May 16, 2016 in Water and Land News


Katy Heggen
Communications and Outreach Director
Iowa Environmental Council
office: 515-244-1194 x210


Central Iowans to Devote Day to Water Quality

Volunteer-driven water monitoring event provides invaluable data to local, state agencies

May 16, 2016 (DES MOINES) – On Wednesday, May 18, 30+ volunteers from urban and rural communities in central Iowa will gather in Des Moines to participate in the Polk County Water Monitoring Snapshot, a biannual event dedicated to advancing clean water in Iowa.

Working together in teams, participants will collect water samples using equipment provided by the DNR IOWATER program from over 70 sites located on rivers, streams, lakes and ponds throughout Polk and eastern Dallas County. The samples, which will be sent to Des Moines Water Works’ lab for analysis and uploaded to the IOWATER Volunteer Water Monitoring Database, provide a comprehensive overview of the condition of water sources in Iowa’s largest urban areas.

“Before the Snapshot, there was very little information about water quality in the small streams and ponds in the greater Des Moines area,” said Iowa Environmental Council Water Program Director Susan Heathcote. “We couldn’t answer questions like ‘How does our water compare to other counties and neighboring states?’ and ‘How has our water quality changed over time?’ Now, we can compare data from year-to-year, measure success and use that data to inform efforts to improve water quality.”

WHAT: Spring 2016 Polk County Water Monitoring Snapshot
WHEN: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 | 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
8:30 a.m. – Volunteer check-in
9-9:30 a.m. – Volunteer training
9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Volunteer teams travel to designated collection sites, return to submit data sheets and samples
WHERE: Des Moines Izaak Walton League Facility, 4343 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines and locations throughout Polk and eastern Dallas County.

The event is organized and sponsored by the Des Moines Izaak Walton League, Des Moines Water Works, DNR IOWATER program, and Iowa Environmental Council  

Members of the media are invited to attend the Snapshot and speak with volunteers. If interested in attending the volunteer training, please contact Communications & Outreach Director Katy Heggen at 515-244-1194 x210. If interested in connecting with a volunteer group, please contact Water Program Director Susan Heathcote at 515-491-8980.

Started in 2004, the Polk County Water Monitoring Snapshot is held twice a year in May and October. The event was originally inspired by a similar program in Scott County. The Scott and Polk County Snapshot programs are among the longest-running consistent, volunteer-organized water quality monitoring events in the state.


The Iowa Environmental Council is an alliance of diverse organizations and individuals working together to protect Iowa's natural environment. Since 1995, the Council has worked toward creating a safe, healthy environment and sustainable future for Iowa, focusing on clean water, land stewardship and clean energy.