The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 25, 2013

Slowing erosion could improve water quality

OTTUMWA — Improving watersheds on the north side of town will in turn improve the Des Moines River's water quality, which is why the city is hoping to snag a grant this fall.

If awarded the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) Water Resource Restoration Grant, the city will focus on Harrow's Branch and Memorial Park, a combined total of 1,721 acres that need extensive work.

This spring, city staff, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) district conservationist Lori Altheide and Wapello County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) local coordinator Ryan Rasmussen walked the gullies in Harrow's Branch, looking for sources and severity of erosion and possible solutions.

"It's definitely concerning," Altheide said of Harrow's Branch. "Head cuts are advancing up the slope, which means they're not only eroding from the side banks but they're also cutting upstream and making the gullies bigger and longer."

The force of the water cuts out soil, leaving an open ditch, or gully.

All of this contributes to poor water quality from sedimentation and soil nutrients polluting the water, a problem that's plagued Harrow's Branch for the last 20 years, said city Public Works Director Larry Seals.

"Funding hasn't been available to fix the problem," Altheide said. "We have never been able to secure the funding ... to do practices in that watershed. This is the first opportunity we've had to receive some help from SRF funds."

Currently, it's estimated that 3,487 tons of sediment are delivered into Harrow's Branch every year.

Recently, Ottumwa Water Works and Hydro asked customers to cut back on water usage due to high nitrate levels in the river.

"Part of that is because you have nutrients in your soil, and when you lose soil, you also lose those nutrients, which will contaminate the water," she said.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0723 OTT Riverfront color photo -L -M Ideas flow at Riverfront Renaissance workshop OTTUMWA — Ideas flowed as freely as the river itself Tuesday evening as more than 100 Ottumwans shared their vision of what the riverfront can be.The Riverfront Renaissance design charrette, sponsored by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, drew p

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kids … not cash OTTUMWA — From a project that started with nothing, supporters created a top-notch education facility for at-risk youth. Someone in on the project from the beginning shared the story. Wapello County Supervisor Jerry Parker addressed a community advis

    July 22, 2014

  • Staying healthy during extreme heat OTTUMWA — After unusually cool temperatures last week, it may have been easy to forget how the heat of summer feels, but an incoming heat wave will quickly remind you. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, heat is the No.

    July 22, 2014

  • Shooting ruled homicide OTTUMWA — The death of a man shot in Wapello County has been ruled a homicide. The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office on Monday received a 911 call of a shooting 4 miles southwest of Ottumwa. Deputies discovered Clinton Gus Leedom, 49, of Bloomfield, to

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT flood file photo Over $1 million to fight floods EDDYVILLE — It's not the way a town wants to get $1 million, but the damage suffered by Eddyville in recent floods has prompted the federal government to cut a check. Actually, it's Area 15 Regional Planning Commission, a community assistance agency

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Driver's license services temporarily suspended KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Treasurer’s Office has notified the Iowa Department of Transportation that it has suspended driver’s license services due to staffing issues in the county treasurer’s office. It is anticipated suspension of the services

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT Canoe Camp color photo -L -M -T Canoe Camp teaches water safety OTTUMWA — Six children at Pioneer Nature Area and Nature Center pond were making waves and getting wet as they flipped their canoes over in attempt to rescue each other. Since summertime and water activities go hand-in-hand, the goal of the activity

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0723 OTT Seth Techel mugshot -T Techel jury may begin deliberations Wednesday DAVENPORT — The jury in the third trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife may begin deliberations as early as Wednesday in Scott County, Davenport. The jury was excused mid-afternoon Tuesday while Judge Daniel Wilson, who continue

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three appointed to Board of Adjustment OTTUMWA — Three new faces will appear on Wapello County Board of Adjustment, thanks to help from the county’s newspaper of record, the Ottumwa Courier. Four applicants applied for the positions and three were selected. New members include Marcia Week

    July 22, 2014

  • Slain woman's boyfriend: I didn't kill her DAVENPORT — A married man who had an affair with a slain Wapello County woman testified this morning that he did not kill her. Jason Tinnes, a jailer who worked with the late Lisa Caldwell Techel, said their affair ended shortly before she died. Tinn

    July 22, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook