The Metropolitan Utilities District will release their 2015 Water Quality Report sometime this May. MUD Chemist Marian Feltes says that as a utility they are pretty proactive.
“We have people here 24/7, seven days a week watching the water levels,” she said.
Feltes specializes in trace metals that could come into the water system from MUD’s main sources, the Missouri and Platte Rivers as well as the Dakota sandstone aquifer. Feltes is very confident in the utility’s work saying that there have been very small changes over the years in levels and that customers have enough trust in MUD.
“Some customers call with concerns but for the most part they have faith in us,” she said.
The report has information about the treatment process and the results of their findings.
“Everything is pretty minor,” Feltes says.
Though, MUD’s customers’ water is okay, rural Nebraska is left on its own when it comes to clean drinking water. Daugherty Water for Food Institute Graduate Fellow, Jonathan Ali, says that especially in rural areas test results can differ throughout the year.
“We go through peaks and troughs of atrazine and nitrate levels throughout the year and its tied to the agricultural seasons,” Ali says.
Ali studies different levels of chemicals in Nebraska’s water and where they go, once it is washed away from that specific area, “it can really effect some of our neighbors like Iowa and Kansas or other states along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers,” Ali said.
Both Feltes and Ali explained two ways to make sure that home drinking water is safe. If the home faucet has not been used for more than half-an-hour they recommend that you let the cold tap water run anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using it. This allows whatever was sitting in your pipes to be flushed out. Also they recommend never drink or cook with warm water because it could carry more chemicals and bacteria than the cold water.
Independent artist, Susan Knight is calling her audience to action with art. She has two installations at the WATER Exhibit at Kaneko Art Museum downtown.
“I have an aesthetic appreciation for water,” she said.
One of her installations showcase through traditional cut paper, “People always tell me ‘oh those look like jellyfish’ and if that gets them critically thinking about water then I’m okay with that.”
Knight grew up on the Great Lakes and was always surrounded by water in her childhood.
“As an artist I have an opportunity to call attention to water,” she said.
For her, sustainability and water quality all start with the respect of water needs globally saying, “I think about those issues and how to be a good steward for water.”