Date of this Version
The City of Cedar Rapids is located in east-central Iowa and has a population of 121,000. The Cedar River alluvial aquifer is the sole source of drinking water for the City. Within the last few years, the Cedar River — which drains a major agricultural watershed — has experienced extended periods of elevated levels of nitrate and herbicides (notably, atrazine and its degradation byproducts) that were above the maximum contaminant level for drinking water. Fortunately, during these extended periods of compromised water quality in the river, RBF enabled the Cedar Rapids Water Department to obtain and treat adequate quantities of water that met all drinking water standards. The Cedar Rapids Water Department and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) have been collaborating in an ongoing study of the river and its hydraulic interconnection with the City’s wells. A primary focus of this study is to identify operational and development strategies that will optimize RBF and the water-quality benefits it affords.