Environmental Databases

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CHEEC was established partially in response to several water quality research needs described in the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act. Initially, CHEEC was instructed to "assemble all existing data relating to Iowa drinking water supplies, including characteristics of source, treatment, presence of contaminants, precise location and usage patterns to facilitate data retrieval and use in research." In response to this mandate, work began on developing a number of environmental databases. CHEEC has been very successful in identifying, accumulating and managing municipal and private water supply information that includes data on water sources, treatments used, populations served and water quality. These data include:

  • Historical Community Water Supply Source and Treatment Data for Iowa contains drinking water source and treatment information current through 2008 for all Iowa municipal drinking water supplies of population greater than 400.
  • Community Supply Water Quality Data collected and linked to the Community Water Supply and Treatment database. The earliest records are from January 1910. Data sources include the most recent Safe Drinking Water Act data (federal EPA), Iowa Municipal Well Water network data (IDNR and USGS), the 1986-87 survey of all Iowa municipal water supplies, the 1987 National Cancer Institute-EPA Municipal Water Supply Survey, historical raw and finished water quality data State Hygienic Laboratory records available electronically or historical laboratory paper records, finished water quality data from a 1979 National Survey of Environment and Health, and a variety of special sampling efforts conducted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
  • The Iowa Statewide Rural Well Water Survey (SWRL) Data. The initial SWRL was conducted in 1988-89 as a collaborative effort by CHEEC and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources- Geological Survey Bureau, and is a "snapshot" view of the extent of bacteria, nitrate and pesticide contamination in a large sample of Iowa's private rural wells. In 1990 a repeat sampling consisting of a 10% subset of the original wells was undertaken to assess temporal changes in water quality during the original survey. A second phase of the SWRL study was conducted in 2006-08. In this study, 473 private rural drinking water wells were sampled in 89 Iowa counties. 116 of the wells were original SWRL study wells; the other wells were randomly selected from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Private Well Tracking System. A smaller-scale private well water study (Iowa Community Private Well Study, 2002-03) includes water quality data for 103 private drinking water wells in 50 incorporated Iowa towns (mostly in the eastern half of the state) not served by a public water supply system.