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Soldier Creek project has potential to improve water quality here and downstream

State program makes the work essentially free

Improving water quality throughout the state of Iowa is a massive task that has to start in small ways with projects that will add up to make a difference.

One such project is getting underway in Webster County right now. A team of scientists is studying ways to control erosion along Soldier Creek. Thanks to major storms over the last half century, the usually placid stream has on occasion had torrents of water rushing at high velocity through it. The result is erosion and sometimes whole sections of the stream bank caving in.

A team from Impact7G, of Clive, is now studying the creek and finding ways to curtail the erosion. Their work will improve the water quality of the creek, and the quality of bodies of water far downstream, ultimately impacting the Gulf of Mexico.

Any effort to improve water quality is worthwhile. But what makes this project even more special is the fact that it is essentially free.

It is essentially free thanks to a relatively recent change in the rules of a low interest loan program operated by the state government. Fort Dodge and other cities borrow money from that fund to upgrade their water and wastewater systems. The new rules now enable communities to get even lower interest rates and to use the money they save to do water quality projects.

“You essentially get a free project,” Fort Dodge City Engineer Tony Trotter said.

The Soldier Creek project is the fourth one done in Webster County using that program. The others were completed at Snell-Crawford Park and at Badger Lake in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

Officials in Fort Dodge and Webster County took quick advantage of this new water quality program. The beneficial results of doing so will be obvious years into the future. We thank them for having the foresight to take on these projects.

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