Archive for July, 2012July 30, 2012
Des Moines Water Works through the Central Iowa Regional Drinking Water Commission Assisting Dallas County Board of Supervisors in Formation of a Middle-South Raccoon River Watershed Alliance
The State of Iowa has authorized local governments to address flooding and management of water and soil resources in watersheds across the state through the formation of local alliances. An alliance is formed through a 28E agreement (contractual agreement between governmental organizations) with representatives appointed by city, county and soil and watershed conservation districts (SWCD) within the watershed. An advisory body with landowners and other groups will also be part of the process. The watershed alliance has no taxing authority and no impact on the authority of a city, county, or SWCD to conduct its business. Instead, the alliance will educate, coordinate and leverage resources for the betterment of the watershed.
The Middle-South Raccoon River Watershed Alliance is working within the following vision and mission statements:
Vision: A regional alliance with resources to lead, and support improvements in soil protection, flood management and water quality.
Mission: To facilitate regional collaboration that will identify strategies and goals to educate the public, reduce the risk of flood events, and leverage resources for improved soil and water quality protection.
As outlined by legislators in Iowa Code the alliance can:
- Educate residents
- Identify sources of funding to institutionalize the Watershed Management Alliance
- Assess flood risks
- Assess options for cutting flood risk
- Monitor state & federal flood risk planning activities
- Assess water quality
- Leverage funding of multiple partners
- Allocate state and federal moneys available for water quality and flood risk reduction programs and implement best management practices
- Implement the Raccoon River Master Plan
- Enter into contracts and agreements
Source: Iowa Code Chapter 466B, Subchapter III
The Middle-South Raccoon River Watershed Management Alliance has just recently been selected to partner with the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) on a multi-year project to monitor, plan, and implement watershed projects aimed at improving soil and water resources and the adverse impacts of flooding. Phase I will focus on the Middle Raccoon River watershed. The IFC formally announced the partnership June 22, 2012, in Redfield, IA.
The landscape of the Middle-South Raccoon River Watershed is located in the best of rural Iowa, where community is tied to the tradition of farming and outdoor recreation. The benefits gained from the partnerships in the Middle-South Raccoon River watershed is a place where agriculture, communities, recreation, and Iowans thrive and prosper.
In response to Des Moines metro area customers using a record 96.6 million gallons of water, Des Moines Water Works and suburb communities implemented Stage 1 of a water conservation plan, with a goal to reduce total water consumption by 10 percent. Des Moines Water Works and all metro area suburbs’ primary focus in achieving reduced usage included asking residential and business customers to voluntarily cease lawn irrigation.
How Are we Doing?
Click to enlarge. This graph will be updated as information becomes available.
Stage 1 Water Conservation Facts
- Des Moines Water Works, with cooperation from metro area suburbs, implemented stage 1 of its water conservation plan on July 24.
- Stage 1 asks residential and business customers to voluntarily cease lawn irrigation and take other actions to help conserve water.
- Due to low river levels and water quality issues in the rivers, stage 1 water conservation practices are requested until the weather pattern changes. As of August 21, the voluntary request is still in effect through the end of August.
- The following communities/water utilities are included in the stage 1 water conservation plan:
- City of Alleman
- City of Altoona
- City of Ankeny
- City of Berwick
- City of Bondurant
- City of Carlisle
- City of Clive
- City of Cumming
- City of Johnston
- City of Mitchellville
- City of New Virginia
- City of Norwalk
- City of Pleasant Hill
- City of Polk City
- City of Runnells
- City of St. Charles
- City of Waukee
- City of Windsor Heights
- Des Moines Water Works
- Indianola Municipal Utilities
- Polk County Benefited Water District
- Polk County Rural Water District #1
- Urbandale Water Utility
- Warren Water District
- West Des Moines Water Works
- Xenia Rural Water
What is Des Moines Water Works Doing?
- Des Moines Water Works has turned off three decorative water fountains located on its Fleur Drive/George Flagg Parkway property. The Memorial Garden fountain in Water Works Park will be turned back on for scheduled rental activities.
- Des Moines Water Works has ceased turf irrigation at several locations, except for the Memorial Garden fountain lawn, which has been reduced to every other day.
- Des Moines Water Works has reduced watering of the Fleur Drive median plants to every other day.
- Des Moines Water Works has suspended fire hydrant flushing program. In the case of water main breaks/repairs, fire hydrants must be flushed for water quality purposes.
- Des Moines Water Works has requested the City of Des Moines reduce irrigation at municipal golf courses and other turf lawns throughout the city, where possible.
What Can a Homeowner Do?
- Voluntarily suspend lawn irrigation.
- If you must water, you are encouraged to do so no more than every other day and between the hours of 8:00 pm, and 6:00 am. Also check to make sure all sprinkler heads are working correctly and pointing in the correct direction.
- You may continue watering flowers and vegetable gardens.
- Don’t leave water running if you wash a car at home.
- Don’t use water to hose down sidewalks and driveways, use a broom instead.
- Don’t leave water running when brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Consider taking shorter showers.
These wise water use measures make good sense to do year-round, but the primary factor that will lower water demand is reduced lawn irrigation.
What Can Businesses Do?
- Voluntarily suspend lawn and turf irrigation.
- If you must water, you are encouraged to do so no more than every other day and between the hours of 8:00 pm, and 6:00 am. Also check to make sure all sprinkler heads are working correctly and pointing in the correct direction.
- You may continue to water flower and vegetable gardens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why did Des Moines Water Works and Des Moines area suburbs initiate stage 1 of the water conservation plan?
Lower demand increases water tank levels, which help customers see an increase in water pressure and also ensures a sufficient supply of water for fire protection.
Q: How long will stage 1 last?
Due to low river levels and water quality issues in the rivers, stage 1 water conservation practices are requested until the weather pattern changes.
Q: Is compliance mandatory?
No. Conservation is strongly encouraged but only voluntary at this time.
Q: Will I be fined if I water my lawn?
No. Not in stage 1.
Q: Has Des Moines Water Works implemented water conservation practices before?
Likely during the drought of 1977; that was the last drought year in which there was a severe shortage of water in the Raccoon River. That was Des Moines Water Works only source water plus the infiltration gallery along the Raccoon River to supply water to the Fleur Drive water treatment plant. Des Moines Water Works only had one treatment plant at that time and it was also when there were not near the amount of in-ground sprinkler systems that exist today.
Q: Does Des Moines Water expect to move to stage 2? What does stage 2 entail?
Des Moines Water Works does not foresee moving beyond Stage 1 prior to September 1, unless river flow and weather patterns persist, such that historic low river flows are reached. Stage 2 still implements voluntary conservation measures to achieve a 30% water reduction but asks in addition to Stage 1, that public agencies look to suspend decorative fountains and close any recreational facility that is known water waster like a leaking swimming pool.
DES MOINES, Iowa (July 24, 2012) – Des Moines Water Works, with cooperation from metro suburbs, have implemented stage 1 of a water conservation plan. The objective of stage 1 of the conservation plan is to reduce water usage by 10 percent. The primary focus in achieving reduced usage is in the amount of water being used to irrigate turf and lawns.
Des Moines Water Works pumped a record 95.64 million gallons of water on Monday. The previous record of 92 million gallons was set in June 2006. In addition to record pumpage which is stressing some area water facilities with lower pressure, water quality of source waters is creating treatment issues.
“We are asking resident and business customers throughout the metro area, including our suburban communities, to voluntarily cease irrigation and let their lawns go dormant,” said Randy Beavers, CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works. “Municipal golf courses have been asked to reduce their irrigation water.”
If there is some compelling reason an owner cannot shut down their irrigation system, it is requested that they lower the volume of water used by reducing the amount of time the system runs, and do so on odd/even days. For example, if your address ends in 1, 3, 5, etc., lawn watering is acceptable on odd days of the month and vice-versa for even addresses.
Watering of gardens and flower beds may continue under the stage 1 of the conservation plan, but reduced levels are requested.
Other “wise water use” measures that make good sense in these hot dry times which are outlined in the plan are:
- Wash dishes and laundry when you have full loads
- Don’t leave water running if you wash a car at home
- Don’t use water to hose down sidewalks and driveways, use a broom instead
- Consider taking shorter showers
- Don’t leave water running when brushing your teeth or shaving
“These wise water use measures make good sense to do year-round, but the primary factor that will lower water demand is reduced lawn irrigation,” said Beavers.
There are some decorative lawn and turf areas around the metro area that are not addressed under stage 1, but just like golf courses, it is requested that those systems be operated and managed to reduce water use where possible.
Stage 1 will stay in effect until the weather pattern changes so that water demand drops below 80 million gallons of use daily. Further stages of the conservation plan will be considered if the drought persists such that a water shortage is forecast. Further stages of the plan would call for a 30 percent usage reduction by residential customers and 10 percent by business and industry.
“We are asking for the public’s assistance in achieving this 10% voluntary reduction, which will help keep our water tanks full and water pressures elevated,” said Beavers.
Board of Water Works Trustees Announces Candidates for CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works
DES MOINES, Iowa (July 23, 2012) – The Board of Water Works Trustees of the City of Des Moines, Iowa, announces five candidates for the position of CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works. The Board of Water Works Trustees selected Colin Baenziger & Associates, a nationwide search for Des Moines Water Works, a regional utility serving approximately 500,000 people in the Des Moines metro area.
“The field of candidates for CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works is impressive,” said Leslie Gearhart, Board of Water Works Trustees member and co-chair of the search committee. “The Board wanted to conduct a national search for a person with a proven track record as a leader and communicator. By the looks of the finalists we have chosen, we appear to be close to finding just that person.”
“The Board demanded the recruitment of the new CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works be an open and inclusive process,” said Graham Gillette, Board of Water Works Trustees member and co-chair of the search committee. “Naturally, the next stage will include the participation of employees, City of Des Moines leadership, business leaders, individual customers, and large customers throughout the metropolitan area.”
Candidates for the position of CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works are listed alphabetically.
Current position: Utilities Director, City of Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Previous experience: Director, Operations Manager, Operations Specialist and Solids Handling Operator, City of Cedar Rapids Water Pollution Control Department.
Last position held: Principal, Project Manager and Group Leader, CDM Smith, Edison, NJ.
Previous experience: Deputy Director, Department of the Treasury, State of New Jersey. Executive Director, East Windsor Municipal Utilities Authority, East Windsor, NJ.
Current position: Vice President-Community Relations and Economic Development Duke Energy (formerly Cinergy, PSI Energy), Plainfield, IN.
Previous experience: Vice President-Business Relations and Development, Regional Director-Customer and Community Relations and Area Manager-Field Customer Relations, Duke Energy/Cinergy.
Current position: Assistant Manager-Public Works/Engineering, City of Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa.
Previous experience:Human Resources Director, City of Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa. Operations Manager, Manager of Human Resources, Manager of Employee Relations, Manager of Labor Relations, MidAmerican Energy.
Current Position: Community Manager, Barefoot Bay, FL.
Previous experience: Utilities Director, City of Palm Bay, Palm Bay, FL. City Manager, Groveland, FL. Assistant City Manager/City Clerk, Mary Esther, FL.
The Board of Water Works Trustees invites the public to an open house to meet the candidates on Wednesday, August 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Des Moines Water Works, 2201 George Flagg Parkway. Each member of the Board of Trustees will individually interview each candidate the morning of Thursday, August 9. Afternoon sessions consist of candidate interviews by the full board as well as two panels consisting of Des Moines Water Works employees and community representatives. Afternoon interview sessions are open to the public. The Board’s selection will be announced the week of August 13.
Current Des Moines Water Works CEO and General Manager, Randy Beavers, P.E., informed the Board of Trustees on April 1, of his retirement, effective September 7. Mr. Beavers has been CEO and General Manager since December 2008, and served as Interim CEO & General Manager since December 2007, following the retirement of L. D. McMullen. Mr. Beavers began his career at Des Moines Water Works as Principal Engineer in 1981.
About Des Moines Water Works
Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) is a municipal water utility serving the citizens of Des Moines and surrounding communities (approximately 500,000 customers). DMWW is an independently operated public utility with a commitment to leading, advocating and investing today and in the future to deliver water you can trust for life.
About the Board of Water Works Trustees
The Board of Water Works Trustees of the City of Des Moines, Iowa, consists of five members, appointed by the Mayor of the City of Des Moines for a term of six years. The Board of Water Works Trustees appoints Des Moines Water Works CEO and General Manager. The functions of the Board of Water Works Trustees can be described as policy making, appraisal, and evaluation.Labels: Board of Trustees, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Randy Beavers Posted in About Us, Board of Trustees July 18, 2012
Be on the lookout for mobile water filling stations, operated by Des Moines Water Works at upcoming community events. Enjoy quality Des Moines water on the go. Each DSM H2GO station features six water spigots to fill your reusable water bottle, one drinking fountain and a dog bowl for your thirsty pets!
Des Moines Water Works tap water doesn’t just taste great:
It’s clean: Des Moines Water Works ranked number one on Forbes.com list of U.S. cities with the cleanest drinking water.
It’s healthy: Water contains zero calories, zero sugar and zero fat. A typical 12-ounce can of soda contains about 150 calories and the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. Sports drinks, which are marketed as healthy alternatives, have as many calories as sugary beverages and usually contain high levels of sodium.
It’s affordable: Des Moines Water Works tap water is a great deal. At approximately one penny per gallon, it is about 1,000 times less expensive than bottled water.
It’s green: Plastic water bottles produced for the U.S. use 1.5 million barrels of oil a year – enough to power 250,000 homes or 1000,000 cars all year. And it takes more than 3 liters of water to produce each liter of water.
It’s convenient: Quality water is available right from the tap. DSM H2GO mobile water stations will be available at upcoming community events, making staying hydrated easy and affordable. Look for the DSM H2GO station at Des Moines’ Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, July 21. Free water bottles will be given out while supplies last.
Live healthy. Be green. Drink tap!Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, DSM H2Go, DSM H2O Posted in Conservation, Customer Service, Customers, Environment, Green Initiatives, Health July 15, 2012
Des Moines Water Works advises customers about a nationwide utility bill scam that has reached the Des Moines metro area.
The scam claims President Barack Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills. Customers are asked to provide their social security numbers to apply for the program. The scammers then give customers a phony bank routing number. Customers are told to provide the routing number to pay their utility bills or to receive a credit on their utility bills. If the routing number is entered during an online transaction, it may appear that the customer’s bill has been paid (or that credit has been applied), but no government funds are applied to the customer’s account, and the balance remains due. According to reports, the scammers are also using e-mail, text messages, and social media to reach customers.
Des Moines Water Works has recently seen an increase in rejected e-check payments with improper bank routing/account number, as many as 20 in one day. When contacted, customers confirmed that they provided their social security number in exchange for a special bank account number to pay their water bill.
Des Moines Water Works does not ask or require social security numbers from customers. If anyone asks for this information on behalf of Des Moines Water Works, do not provide it.
If you think you have provided Des Moines Water Works with an incorrect bank routing number, please contact a Des Moines Water Works customer service representative at (515) 283-8700.
The Des Moines Botanical Center will grow next year to feature new outdoor gardens, tree-lined walkways, a water garden, and a botany lab. The renovation also involves a new name. Effective January 1, 2013, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, a nonprofit foundation, will assume the center’s lease with the City of Des Moines and oversee the expected $11.6 million in renovations. Also included in the makeover are a new cafe, an event lawn, updated meeting and event rooms and an expanded parking lot. Phase one construction is expected to begin early 2013.
Des Moines Water Works has operated the Botanical Center since January 2004, and will continue to support the new Botanical Garden with annual in-kind contributions.Labels: Botanical Center, Des Moines Botanical Center, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden Posted in Botanical Center, Des Moines Botanical Center July 5, 2012
Hot, dry weather continues and customer water demand for irrigation, recreation and hydration has once again increased to near record levels. As a result, Des Moines Water Works and suburban Des Moines area water utilities who receive their water from Des Moines Water Works are once again issuing a peak water alert for the Des Moines metro area.
The peak water alert program is issued when temperatures exceed 95 degrees, a heat wave is in progress, there is no rain fall and none forecasted for the upcoming days and/or we are approaching a record pumpage for the day.
The Des Moines metro area customers reduced usage to the low 80 million gallons per day after the first peak alert was issued on July 5, but usage has increased to 87 million gallons on Monday, 88 million gallons on Tuesday and appears even greater today. The record usage of 92 million gallons a day was set in June 2006.
“While there is sufficient amount of water in our rivers and reservoir storage to meet the present usage of our customers, river flow is trending downward that could result in Des Moines Water Works asking the Army Corps of Engineers to release water from storage in Saylorville for the first time in 30 years when the reserve storage was initially purchased.” says Randy Beavers, General Manager, Des Moines Water Works. “We want customers to be safe and hydrated while working or recreating outside. However, we ask customers to be mindful of their water uses during this prolonged hot, dry period. ”
Wise use of water is defined as being alert to and repairing leaking household fixtures, taking advantage of technological advances to eliminate waste and avoiding irrigation use during the hottest part of the day.
With the assistance of customers voluntarily following the peak water alert tips, Des Moines metro utilities can guarantee efficient use of the water supply. The following tips are suggested during this water peak alert:
- Customers and businesses voluntarily avoid lawn watering, whether from an in-ground sprinkler system or manual sprinkler, during the day time hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Evaporation from the sun is highest during this time period and less water is absorbed into the soil, meaning more water must be used to get the same effect than if watering is done outside these hours.
- Customers voluntarily shift watering to no more frequently than the ODD numbered days of the week if their house or business address ends with an ODD number and EVEN numbered days if their house address ends with an EVEN number. For example, if your house number is “1521,” it is suggested that you water on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and so on days of the month during the time period when there is a peak water alert.
- Repair leaking sprinkler heads and ensure that each head is properly directing its spray onto the turf and landscape.
- Most soils in the Des Moines area can support a healthy turf, if watered no more frequently than every other day. ISU Extension pamphlet PM 1063, found at their Web page: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM1063.pdf, says “Kentucky Bluegrass will withstand drought by becoming dormant. If irrigation is begun in a drought, continue to water during the drought period. Apply water infrequently, but in sufficient amounts to wet the soil to six-inch depth.” Turf grasses in clayey, silty soils found in most parts of the metro area may require up to one inch to one-half inches of water per week. These soils typically cannot absorb this much water during one irrigation cycle. Adjust your sprinkler time so you are applying from one-fourth inch to one-half inch of water during each irrigation day or cycle. Those homeowners who have sandy soils, typically found in parts of Johnston, may have to apply more water during each irrigation cycle.
- When possible, avoid laying sod during July and the first three weeks of August. These typically are the hottest months and weeks of the year. New sod has no established root system and therefore requires daily watering during hot summer days to keep it alive. Beginning the last week in August and on through the fall is the best time for laying sod. Grass seed is also best used during this late summer, fall time period.
- Wash clothes and use the dishwasher only when you have full loads.
Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Peak Water Alert Posted in Conservation, Customer Service, Customers July 5, 2012
Warm, dry weather has some of us concerned for our lawns, plants and gardens. A commonly asked question of Des Moines Water Works Customer Service Representatives is in regards to lawn sprinkler and irrigation systems. Before you install a built-in irrigation system or do any watering in your yard, you should keep the following information in mind.
Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) and your community’s permits department have a specific process for obtaining an irrigation meter. The installation cost of an irrigation meter can cost $300-$500 or more, as a licensed plumber must connect lawn irrigation piping and house hose bibs to this special meter. In Des Moines, DMWW uses the monthly readings from the irrigation meter to subtract the usage from the sewer service portion of your monthly statement.
Built-in lawn irrigation systems require the installation of a backflow device. All area irrigation system installers are aware of this requirement. These backflow devices must be tested annually by a certified tester. This is a requirement of the State Public Health Department and city ordinances. There are many certified testers in the Des Moines metro area. Look in your phone book under the categories of backflow prevention devices, plumbing contractors or garden and lawn, for a listing of companies that install irrigation systems. Many specifically state they have certified backflow testers. Another helpful resource is located at: www.dmww.com/water-service/plumbers-contractors/backflow-prevention. Here, you will find a listing of certified backflow testers in the state.
If you are interested in obtaining an irrigation meter, you must first obtain a permit for the irrigation meter and any required backflow prevention devices (listed below). A licensed plumber must install a meter compatible with DMWW equipment.
Irrigation systems do a great job of keeping your lawn and garden green and beautiful. These systems do require regular maintenance and adjustment to insure the right amount of water is used when it is needed.
Timing your lawn watering will also help you use water wisely. Des Moines Water Works, in cooperation with other Des Moines metro area water utilities, has developed the “Using Water Wisely” program. This is an educational, voluntary customer program aimed at reducing water use during hot, dry summer days. Customers can do this by eliminating lawn watering during the hottest part of the day (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.). This watering approach reduces the peak load on our water facilities which extends their capacity and useful life.
Also, if you are considering sodding this year, the latter half of August and September is the best time to do so. Avoiding the hot days of July and early August will save you watering costs. Let’s all use our precious water wisely!
Des Moines Residents
City of Des Moines Permit and Development Center
Pleasant Hill Residents
Community Development Building Division
Unincorporated Polk County Residents
Polk County Engineers
Windsor Heights Residents
City of Windsor Heights Permit and Development Center
Runnells, Alleman and Cumming Residents
No permit required. Deduct setting must be used. Call (515) 283-8700 to install meter reading device
Water main breaks are often associated with cold, icy weather. But when hot, dry weather increases customers’ water demand for irrigation, recreation and hydration, main breaks can be just as frequent.
Des Moines Water Works water pumpage record of 92 million gallons a day (mgd) was set in June 2006. Pumpage has yet to reach that level in 2012, but demand is increasing.
Central Iowa is fortunate to have sufficient sources of water to meet the needs of residential, business, industrial, and governmental customers. In addition, Des Moines Water Works has made significant financial investments in treatment plants, pumps, tanks, piping, and reservoir storage to meet customers’ drinking water needs.
These assets can be affected by increased demand. Water demand puts stress on older water mains throughout the water distribution area which may lead to a break.
If a main break occurs in your neighborhood, Des Moines Water Works crews work quickly to make the repair and restore water service. Due to the urgency of such situations, our crews make the repair process their top priority. Occasionally, this means water service may be interrupted for periods of time without prior notification.
If you see water in the street, please call Des Moines Water Works at.283-8700. Our Water Distribution team can determine the cause and arrange for any necessary repairs. With early detection, a repair can be made more quickly.Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Main Breaks, Water Demand Posted in Conservation, Customer Service, Infrastructure