Water Quality

Water Splashing with Water Glass with Lemon Inside

Our water originates in the Muscatine Island Aquifer. It is an excellent source of high-quality water located along the west bank of the Mississippi River flood plain. It covers about 50 square miles in Muscatine and Louisa counties. The wide segment of land consists primarily of sand and gravel with areas of silt and clay. It ranges from about 40 to 140 feet thick.

Our water, originating in the Muscatine Island Aquifer, is of such high quality that the only treatments required are small additions of chlorine, fluoride and phosphate.

The water obtained is of such high quality that the only treatments required are small additions of chlorine, fluoride, and phosphate. Chlorine assures biological safety, fluoride assists in children’s dental development, and phosphate stabilizes the minerals found in water.

We are diligent about water testing. Muscatine’s water surpasses all state and federal regulations all the time. About 60 water quality tests are completed each day in our laboratories. Chemical and physical water tests are conducted in a controlled environment using precision instruments that measure or detect contaminants at very low levels. Samples are tested for contaminants including bacteria, organic and inorganic compounds, lead and copper, and total trihalomethanes (contaminants that develop during the chlorination of drinking water). We also use private labs to complete other required testing.

2020 Consumer Confidence Report

Front Page of CCR 2020 PDFEXCERPT: MP&W is proud to provide water at rates which continue to be among the lowest in Iowa and we’re happy to report that our water surpasses all federal and state water quality standards. 

Day in and day out, MP&W works to provide top quality water to every tap. To protect our source water, we continue to document and update our Well Head Protection plan, which involves and educates the community. 

The plan will continue to protect our source of water for years to come as we partner with our customers to protect and conserve water sources to provide an economical, safe and dependable supply. 

2020 Consumer Confidence Report

MP&W 2019 Water Quality Results Summary

Substance Violation Highest Level Allowed (MCL) Highest Detected Level Utility Range EPA MCLG (EPA Goal) Sources of Contaminant
(2013) (ppm)
No 2 0.08 0.05 - 0.08 2 Discharge of drilling wastes; Discharge from metal refineries; Erosion of natural deposits.
(2019) (ppm)
No 4 0.74

0.41 - 0.74


Water additive which promotes strong teeth; Erosion of natural deposits;
Discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories

Nitrate (as N) (2019) (ppm)

No 10 8.4 0.50 - 8.4 10 Runoff from fertilizer use; Leaching from septic tanks,
sewage; erosion of natural deposits
(2017) (ppm)
No N/A 15 10 - 15 N/A Erosion of natural deposits; Added to water during treatment process
Total Trihalomethane (TTHM) (2019)(ppb) No 80 33 LRAA 9.6 - 33 N/A By-products of drinking water chlorination
Haloacetic Acids (HAA5)
(2019) (ppb)
No 60 7 LRAA <6 - 7 N/A By-products of drinking water disinfection
(2019)(mg/L) (ppm)
No 4 MRDL 1.7 RAA 0.3 - 1.70 4.0 MRDLG Water additive used to control microbes
COPPER & LEAD (regulated at customer tap)
Substance Violation
Action Level Maximum 90% Detection Utility Range Samples Above Action Level Sources of Contaminant
(2019) (ppm)
No 1.3 1.1 ND - 1.1 0 Corrosion of household plumbing systems; Erosion of natural deposits;
Leaching from wood preservatives
(2019) (ppb)
No 15 9 ND - 9 0 Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits 

Note: The EPA requires monitoring of over 80 drinking water contaminants. Those listed above are only contaminants detected in your drinking water. For a complete list, contact Muscatine Power and Water.

Quality Report Definitions

Action Level (AL)– The concentration of a contaminant that, if exceeded, triggers a treatment or other requirement that a water system must follow.

Inorganic Contaminant –Such as salts and metals, which can occur naturally or come from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining or farming.

LRAA – Locational Running Annual Average.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) – The highest level of a contaminant allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) – The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) – The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) – The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

Microbiological Contaminants – Very small organisms, such as bacteria, algae, plankton, and fungi.

N/A – Not applicable.

ND – Not detected at testing limit.

NTU – Nephelometric Turbidity Units.

Organic Contaminants – Naturally occurring or synthetic substances containing mainly carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. This includes most pesticides and industrial chemicals.

pCi/l – Pico curies per liter.

ppb – Parts of contaminant per billion parts of water. One part per billion (ppb) is equivalent to a single penny in ten million dollars. "PPB" may also be referred to as mg/l or micrograms per liter.

ppm – Parts of contaminant per million parts of water. One part per million (ppm) is equivalent to a single penny in ten thousand dollars. "PPM" may also be referred to as µg/l or milligrams per liter.

RAA – Running Annual Average.

Radionuclides – Contaminants giving off ionizing radiation.

TOC – Total organic carbon in untreated water.

Treatment Technique (TT) – A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Chlorine Disinfectant
The most common drinking water treatment is disinfection. Disinfection is considered to be the primary mechanism to kill bacteria and other germs to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. Chlorine is the most widely used disinfectant. Disinfectants combine with organic and inorganic matter present in water to form chemicals called disinfection byproducts. EPA sets standards for controlling the levels of disinfectants and disinfectant byproducts in drinking water. The chart above reflects these standards and the Utility's ability to meet those standards.

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic organism found in rivers and streams that can cause diarrhea, fever, and gastrointestinal symptoms if ingested. It finds its way into the watershed through animal wastes. Cryptosporidium is effectively eliminated by treatment processes that include sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection. EPA is developing regulations to address the risk from crytosporidium in drinking water.

Some fluoride is naturally present in the source water. The amount is carefully monitored every day so optimum concentration is maintained. If you have concerns about fluoride, you should discuss this topic with your dentist and doctor.

Nitrate in drinking water at levels above 10 ppm is a health risk for infants less that 6 months of age. High nitrate levels in drinking water can cause blue baby syndrome. Nitrate levels may rise quickly for short periods of time because of rainfall or agriculture activity. If you are caring for an infant, you should ask advice from your healthcare provider.

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. Muscatine Power and Water is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/lead.

TTHMs (Total Trihalomethanes)
Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Unregulated ContaminantsThe US Environmental Protection Agency has developed an unregulated contaminant monitoring program to better understand the existence of contaminants in the environment. These contaminants are not regulated
by the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations, but are known or anticipated to occur at public water systems throughout the nation and may warrant regulation under the safe Drinking Water act. In 2014, MP&W was required to test for 30 unregulated contaminants.

The EPA requires monitoring of over 80 drinking water contaminants. Those listed above are the only contaminants detected in your drinking water. For a complete list, contact Muscatine Power and Water at (563) 262-3360.