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Cedar Rapids works hard to protect the quality of our water resources.  Here are some of the things the City does protect our water resources:

Wastewater Treatment

The Cedar Rapids Water Pollution Control Facility treats wastewater generated from businesses, industries, and residents in Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, Robins, Palo and other areas in Linn County.  The Cedar Rapids Water Pollution Control Facility uses advanced treatment techniques to meet or exceed the water quality standards set by the Clean Water Act and was recently recognized for excellence by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.

Watershed Monitoring

The City of Cedar Rapids bears an important responsibility: to provide clean, safe, and great tasting drinking water to our residents and businesses. Part of this responsibility includes monitoring the big picture of where our water comes from. The watershed of the Cedar River upstream from Cedar Rapids is over 6,500 square miles, extending from southern Minnesota down to Muscatine, Iowa.


  • The Cedar Rapids Sewer Maintenance Program regularly inspects over 500 construction sites to make sure they are incorporating stormwater protections.  
  • The Cedar Rapids Sewer Maintenance Program has also implemented an educational campaign to increase residents’ awareness of our stormwater system and how little things like “Scooping the Poop” can help protect our water resources.

Pollution Prevention

  • The City Manager’s 1-Bag Challenge has helped to clean up more than 1,600 bags of litter from the City. Litter can easily wash into storm drains that empty directly into our river and streams. 
The City of Cedar Rapids promotes the TakeAway program. The TakeAway program promotes the proper disposal of medications by encouraging residents to bring their unused prescription and over the counter drugs back to the pharmacy, instead of flushing them down the drain.   

Partnering with State and National Organizations

Many agencies are responsible for measuring and evaluating the quality of water resources in the United States.

The Iowa Geological Survey Bureau (IGSB) and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources collect and analyze water quality sampling data from across the state. Volunteers also play a large role in providing state agencies with water quality samples. 

On a national level, the United States Geological Survey Bureau collects and reports water quality sampling data for many streams and rivers throughout the U.S.

On a local level, the City of Cedar Rapids Utilities Department – Water Division, Iowa Geological Survey Bureau, and Coe College have partnered together to conduct water quality sampling on several small watersheds immediately upstream of Cedar Rapids.

All of this information helps us assess the quality of water resources across this state and nation.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

United States Geological Survey

How to become a volunteer water quality monitor

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