Ankeny, Iowa Water Violation

Blog, Environmental Issues, Health

The Des Moines Register recently published an article about the City of Ankeny’s water distribution system being in serious violation of a drinking water standard according to a recent press release by the City of Ankeny. The water situation is not currently being identified as an emergency but the tests came back showing the maximum level for total Trihalomethanes, or TTHM, had been exceeded. Ankeny’s TTHM level was found to be 0.084 MG/L for the last quarter which is above the maximum allowance of 0.080 MG/L. Before we get into what caused the problem in Ankeny and what is being done about it let’s examine what Trihalomethanes are and what health risks they pose.

Trihalomethane Basics

What Are Trihalomethanes?

TTHM is a common by-product of chlorine mixed with organic matter that is found in water. TTHM is usually present when there is an excess amount of chlorine in a water supply and they are additional additives and elements present in the water aside from pure H2O. Trihalomethane is dangerous to a person’s health in small amounts but can be disastrous.

What Are the Health Risks of Trihalomethanes?

TTHM is dangerous in what is considered a “safe” amount, 0.080 MG/L and can be extremely harmful to those that consume it at a level higher than that.


TTHM has been linked to an increased risk of cancer including bladder cancer.

Organ & Central Nervous System Damage

Studies have tied TTHM to lung, kidney, liver, heart, and central nervous system damage.

Infertility & Miscarriage

Trihalomethanes have been shown to infertility and miscarriage issues in women as well. Low level of TTHM in drinking water results in a 9.5% miscarriage rate while high levels of TTHM in drinking water results in a 15.7% miscarriage rate.


Exposure to high levels of TTHM can lead to anemia in some people and can act as a trigger in those with a predisposition to anemia.

Trihalomethanes in Ankeny

Why Are There High Levels of Trihalomethanes in Ankeny’s Water?

The increased level of TTHM is occurring because of the higher levels of ammonia and total organic carbon in the Des Moines River and Raccoon River at the beginning of the year. The high level of ammonia required a lot of chlorine to achieve the proper level of disinfection during the last stage of water treatment. The chlorine levels have been elevated since January 2014 increasing the potential for TTHM to form in the water.

How Is Ankeny Solving the TTHM Problem?

Des Moines Water Works, the supplier of Ankeny’s water, is working to review the operation of the water treatment facility. Once they have completed their review of what changes and potential capital investments need to be made to reduce the TTHM levels. Currently there is no telling how long it will take to bring the TTHM levels back down below the maximum level but the City of Ankeny will continue to notify customers on a quarterly basis until the level drops.

What Should I Do?

Truthfully Trihalomethanes in any capacity are not good for humans to ingest which is why we highly recommend outfitting your home or office with a water purification system or add a water cooler to your kitchen or break room. This will allow you, your family and/or your coworkers and clients to drink safe water that is purified and fresh.

Showering in city water can also put you and your family at risk if you don’t not have a water filtration system in your home. Heat doesn’t kill the Trihalomethanes, it makes them reproduce faster which increases you risk for inhaling them in the shower or eating them on your food that is boiled.

Get Started Now!

Contact us today to get started water filtration system or water cooler today!