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July 5, 2018

As cities revamp urban waterways for new uses, old pollution is a problem

  • Unseen pollutants threaten efforts to use rivers to attract tourists, paddlers, businesses and new downtown residents.
    Associated Press

    DES MOINES, Iowa — As someone who has spent countless hours rowing along the Des Moines River, Tonya Logan appreciates the city's vision to create a whitewater course that would draw kayakers to the Iowa capital.

    But there's a dirty secret for Des Moines and many other U.S. cities that want to upgrade their urban waterways into scenic destinations: Much of the water is so polluted with manure that people fear it's not safe to dip their hands in the current, let alone to swim in it.

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