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      Ottumwa Water Works is asking customers to conserve water

      The Ottumwa Water Works has issued a conservation advisory due to high nitrate levels in the Des Moines River.Since May 13, 2013, the nitrate levels in the Des Moines River have exceeded the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of ten parts per million established by the Environmental Protection Agency.The Ottumwa Water Works has been blending river water with alternate water sources, including Black Lake and the Ottumwa Reservoir, to bring the nitrate levels below the MCL established by the EPA.The Water Works also suspended its hydrant flushing program since May 13.Customers can consume water from Ottumwa Water and Hydro with confidence. The same issues are being experienced at Des Moines Water Works. However, Ottumwa Water Works does not have the expensive nitrate removal equipment that Des Moines has.For more information on nitrates you can visit the EPA website at Due to low levels of alternate source water being available for blending, the Water Works is asking customers to conserve water and discontinue lawn irrigation.