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What makes Ames’ tap water hooray-worthy?


Your drinking water has to be pretty top notch in order to get mentioned in a song like “Hooray! For Ames Water” by Smiling Stone Soup. But lucky for Ames, it’s just that good.

Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Lyle Hammes says that good drinking water starts with a good water source.

“We’re sitting on a very good aquifer here in Ames,” he explained. “It’s an alluvial aquifer. It’s very plentiful in water and it has good water quality that we get to start with. There are some deeper aquifers that have more minerals and dissolved gasses in them and we don’t have to deal with that. Other places have to use surface water from rivers and lakes that has more organic material in it that can contribute to taste and odors that we don’t have.”

Ames’ top-notch water treatment facility. — courtesy of the City of Ames

Ames also has a top-notch water treatment facility. Updating the water treatment plant was a $52.5 million project completed in August of 2017. Since then, the plant has been providing great tasting drinking water to over 18,000 homes and businesses, the Iowa State University campus, the National Centers for Animal Health and the Xenia Rural Water District.

Good things are born out of hard work and that’s certainly true for the Ames Water Treatment Plant. According to Hammes, the plant is staffed 24/7 to make sure that operations are running smoothly.

“We need to make sure the water keeps running for the citizens,” Hammes said. “And we have a very good track record of good tasting and very reliable water supply.”

This article was originally published in Little Village’s December 2022 issues.


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