Nutrient Reduction Strategy
What is it?
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science- and technology-based approach to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways and the Gulf of Mexico. The strategy outlines efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from point sources, such as municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants, and nonpoint sources, including farm fields and urban areas, in a scientific, reasonable and cost-effective manner. The Iowa strategy was developed in 2013 in response to the 2008 Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan, which calls for the 12 states along the Mississippi River to craft strategies to reduce nutrients reaching the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to impacting the Gulf, excessive amounts of nutrients can also negatively affect local Iowa streams. Nutrient reduction by wastewater dischargers will protect and improve water quality in those streams, especially during low stream flow periods when point sources have the greatest impact. The Iowa strategy follows the recommended framework provided by the U.S. EPA in 2011. The DNR is working with wastewater facilities statewide with a goal of reducing the amounts discharged by point sources by at least 11,000 tons of nitrogen and 2,170 tons of phosphorus per year. This represents a reduction in the estimated statewide amounts of nutrients discharged to Iowa waters from point and nonpoint sources by 4% for nitrogen and 16% reduction in phosphorus.
Nutrient Reduction In Ames
While point sources like Ames are only a small fraction of the total nutrient load, it is important that we do our part to improve the water environment in the state.
The Ames Water Pollution Control Facility is proactively evaluating different approaches it could use to reach the goals of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The evaluation is looking at ways the treatment plant could be modified to provide an increased level of nutrient removal beyond what it currently achieves. Additionally, it is looking at alternatives the City could pursue in the Skunk River watershed to achieve a reduction in nutrient loadings into the river.
The Ames Water & Pollution Control Department is partnering with HDR Engineers to perform the nutrient feasibility study; along with input and coordination from the Ames Public Works Department and Prairie Rivers of Iowa.
Open House Informational Posters
Station 1: Welcome
Station 2: WPC Facility
Station 3: Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy
Station 4: WPCF Nutrient Reduction
Station 5: Watershed Nutrient Reduction
Station 6: Path Forward