College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Ways to make sure drinking water is safe

Thomas Glanville

Everyone is concerned with protecting their drinking water.

Small farm and acreage owners can find tips on how to maintain safe drinking water in the Summer 2015 Acreage Living e-newsletter from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“Maintaining safe drinking water is critical for human health,” said Jamie Benning, water quality program manager with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Acreage owners who obtain their drinking water through a private well on their property are responsible for testing and maintaining their well.”

There are many resources available from state and local agencies for acreage owners to receive assistance in protecting their well water. Learn more about what to test for, how to test and where to obtain testing kits in the water quality article.

Whether from a well, stream, pond or other source on an acreage, protecting water supplies is a priority. Riparian buffers serve as both a natural water filtration system and a soil stabilizer against erosion.

“Riparian buffers are known as a vegetated “buffer-strip” near a stream,” said Dan Burden, value added agriculture program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “They help to protect the stream from the impact of adjacent urban, industrial or agricultural land use.”

For more about where to place riparian buffer strips and what plants to incorporate, read the riparian buffer strip article.

Finally, water plays a critical role in septic system maintenance. Failing to maintain a septic system can lead to costly repairs. Tom Glanville, professor emeritus of agricultural and biosystems engineering with Iowa State University, gives information and tips about how to stay ahead of septic systems on an acreage to prevent an “out of sight, out of mind” and out of pocket mindset.

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