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Weekly Water Watch

Weekly Water Watch IconWeekly Water Watch is IEC’s summer newsletter that provides weekly updates on Iowa E. coli and microcystin beach advisories, important water quality news, and water-related events across the state.   

Weekly Water Watch started in 2018 to increase awareness of Iowa’s recreational lake water quality and make monitoring data more accessible and easy to understand.  

Learn more about beach monitoring.

Notable Statistics from Summer 2020

  • Total number of E. coli advisories = 112 
  • Total number of microcystin advisories = 12 
  • George Wyth Beach experienced its first recorded advisory for microcystin since data collection began in 2006. 
  • Of 38 DNR-monitored beaches, 20 beaches recorded swim advisories in 2020. 18 beaches did not record an advisory. 
  • Backbone Beach was under advisory for E. coli for 14 weeks out of 16 weeks total in 2020. 
  • E. coli advisories were up 87% from 2019.
  • Lake Macbride and Prairie Rose Lake were inaccessible for the last three weeks of water quality monitoring due to damage from the derecho.
  • The summer of 2020 was very dry. Western Iowa was especially hard hit by drought. It was the driest July since 2013, and August was the third driest on record.


Read Past Weekly Water Watch Issues

2020

September 4, 2020 August 7, 2020 July 10, 2020 June 12, 2020
August 28, 2020 July 31, 2020  July 3, 2020 June 5, 2020
August 21, 2020 July 24, 2020  June 26, 2020 May 29, 2020
August 14, 2020 July 17, 2020  June 19, 2020 May 22, 2020

2019

September 6, 2019

August 9, 2019 July 19, 2019
August 23, 2019 August 2, 2019 July 12, 2019
August 16, 2019   July 26, 2019   July 5, 2019  

Notable Statistics from Summer 2019

  • Total number of E. coli advisories = 60 
  • Total number of microcystin advisories = 21 
  • Honey Creek Resort Beach, Lake MacBride, and North Twin Lake East Beach experienced their first recorded advisories for microcystin in 2019 since data collection began in 2006. 
  • Of 37 weekly monitored beaches, 20 beaches recorded swim advisories in 2019. 17 beaches did not record an advisory. 
  • Backbone Beach was under advisory for E. coli for the first 13 weeks out of 15 weeks total in 2019. 
  • McIntosh Woods Beach at Clear Lake was under advisory for E. coli the last 9 weeks of the summer out of 15 weeks total in 2019. 
  • If Iowa had adopted the EPA’s recommended advisory threshold for microcystin, which is 8 micrograms/L, an additional 14 advisories would have been issued for microcystin in 2019.