After more than 2 years without clean water, Bagley residents can drink from tap again

Residents of the small Guthrie County town of Bagley can now drink their tap water again, more than two years after authorities deemed it unsafe, thanks to the completion of a $1.2 million project.Residents had complained of brown, mucky water that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources found to be caused by levels of an element called manganese high enough to render the water undrinkable. Residents had to use bottled water for drinking and cooking.”You don’t realize how much water you use, especially when you cook,” resident Ron McNeill said. “You know, like when you boil potatoes open to make potato salad. OK, you’re going to use six, seven, eight bottles of water.”According to a notice posted on Bagley’s City Hall, the DNR declared the water safe to drink Friday. That came after the city completed a $1.2 million project to change where it received water from, hooking up to the Xenia Rural Water District.Bagley city councilman Greg Irving said the fix was neither quick nor easy.”(Xenia) had water up till about seven miles east of here,” Irving said. “So we had to start the venture of getting water up to Bagley, getting a new pump station built and (it was) quite an undertaking for a town of 300 people.”Irving said the cost of the project would have been prohibitive had the majority not been funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Economic Development Authority. “Our tax base is basically 300 residents in town, so, no, it would not have been possible,” Irving said.McNeill said after going through countless bottles of water, it feels good to turn on the tap again and get clean water.”It’s fantastic,” he said.

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Residents of the small Guthrie County town of Bagley can now drink their tap water again, more than two years after authorities deemed it unsafe, thanks to the completion of a $1.2 million project.

Residents had complained of brown, mucky water that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources found to be caused by levels of an element called manganese high enough to render the water undrinkable.

Residents had to use bottled water for drinking and cooking.

“You don’t realize how much water you use, especially when you cook,” resident Ron McNeill said. “You know, like when you boil potatoes open to make potato salad. OK, you’re going to use six, seven, eight bottles of water.”

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According to a notice posted on Bagley’s City Hall, the DNR declared the water safe to drink Friday. That came after the city completed a $1.2 million project to change where it received water from, hooking up to the Xenia Rural Water District.

Bagley city councilman Greg Irving said the fix was neither quick nor easy.

“(Xenia) had water up till about seven miles east of here,” Irving said. “So we had to start the venture of getting water up to Bagley, getting a new pump station built and (it was) quite an undertaking for a town of 300 people.”

Irving said the cost of the project would have been prohibitive had the majority not been funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

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“Our tax base is basically 300 residents in town, so, no, it would not have been possible,” Irving said.

McNeill said after going through countless bottles of water, it feels good to turn on the tap again and get clean water.

“It’s fantastic,” he said.



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