Letter to the editor: Once-clean Iowa waters now foul with feces

Blue-green algae blooms sometimes foster the growth of toxic microsystins.

To the editor:

It does not take an engineering degree or years of lab analysis of Iowa river water to know that pig poop is a big problem for Iowa.

Anyone who has lived in Iowa for 30 years or more and has enjoyed swimming, fishing, paddling or looking at Iowa waters can tell you that our waterways, lakes and ponds are degraded from what they once were.

All one needs to know is that pig poop contains phosphorus. Phosphorus is the “limiting factor” in algae production. Our waters are loaded with nitrates, but it is the phosphorus that creates the “pea soup” rivers and algae-covered lakes in Iowa.

Easter Lake in Des Moines has just been restored. It is not fed by field tiles and hog manured fields. It should remain clear. Good for Polk County folks!

Too bad that much of rural Iowa has to deal with lousy water. It was not always this way.

Mike Delaney
Windsor Heights


  1. Hmm. I’ve seen a lot of ponds just like the one pictured that are out in pastures. It always seems to be in the summer doing hot stretches in relatively shallow ponds. Are there any test reports saying that it’s from hog manure?


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