University of Iowa

Keokuk - Lead and Copper Utility Mapping

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Academic Year 
2019-2020
College/Department 
Geographical and Sustainability Sciences
Project Partner 
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As part of the ICIGO student organization within the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, students created maps of lead and copper utility lines in Keokuk. 

The identification of lead and copper service lines has risen to the top water quality public concern due to the crisis in Flint, Michigan. The national and state legislatures have responded with increased attention to the risk potential. DNR is proposing new requirements for additional data from local water utilities concerning the location of these lead and copper water service lines. The Keokuk Waterworks has had much of this information, but not in a digital format. This information is important for the future DNR compliance.  Without an up-to-date database, it is difficult to understand the size and scope of the issue.

The project involved taking paper files and converting to digital map, which helps with additional evaluation based on spatial concentrations of lead and copper, evaluation and correlation of lead and copper based on age of home, etc. With the assets now digitally mapped, Keokuk officials have a multitude of additional geospatial and additional mapping information that could be used in future analyses.