- Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines Water Works says the organization has set a record for using equipment that removes nitrate from the water so it’s safe to drink.

The utility, which serves about 500,000 people in the Des Moines area, announced Thursday it had used its nitrate removal facility for 111 days this year, breaking the record of 106 days set in 1999.

Officials say there is no sign nitrate levels will drop, allowing them to stop using the equipment.

Des Moines gets water from the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers. Nitrate levels are about 16 milligrams per liter in the Des Moines and 15 in the Raccoon.

The federal maximum is 10.

Water Works blames upstream farms for the nitrates and has sued three counties over water flowing from agriculture drainage districts.

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