Archive for August, 2012

August 30, 2012

Water Works Park Receives Grant from Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Circle

Des Moines Water Works has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Circle.

“Recreating Water Works Park will bring more vitality to the Greater Des Moines metro area.  The Leadership Circle is pleased to provide funding that will ensure the success of the Water Works Park renovation master plan,” said Barry Griswell, Chair of the Leadership Circle and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation.

Water Works Park is 1,500 acres located near downtown Des Moines and one of the nation’s largest urban parks.  Current recreational uses of the park include walking/running, hiking and nature/bird watching.  The park is home to Arie den Boer Arboretum, one of the world’s largest collections of flowering crab apple trees.  The park also hosts several community events – including Jolly Holiday Lights and the Hy-Vee Fishing Derby– as well numerous private events.  Water Works Park is bisected by the Raccoon River and a three mile long infiltration gallery, which is a major source of raw water for the Fleur Drive water treatment plant which provides drinking water for the Des Moines metro area.

“The Community Foundation Leadership Circle grant is a significant contribution to the funding of the master plan to re-envision and renovate Water Works Park into an education and recreation destination,” said Randy Beavers, CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works.  “The Water Works master plan will highlight opportunities for education and emphasize the role water plays in the community, as well as incorporate additional recreational features throughout the park.

Des Moines Water Works, in collaboration with Iowa State University Department of Landscape Architecture, hosted an international design competition in 2011 to reinvent Water Works Park.  Sasaki Associates, with RDG Planning & Design and Applied Ecological Services, was selected as the Parkitecture competition winner out of 44 proposals.

It is expected the design team and Des Moines Water Works will begin developing the master plan this fall.  The process will include public outreach and community involvement.

For more information on the Water Works Park plan, visit the project website at waterworkscircuit.com.

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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 people). 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.  Des Moines Water Works also operates Water Works Park – 1,500 acres of land near downtown Des Moines, and one of the nation’s largest urban parks.

About the Community Foundation Leadership Circle
The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Circle is a group comprised of donors who have created a substantial endowment that supports projects or causes that provide long-term community impact and address the most critical needs in Greater Des Moines. Leadership Circle donors pledge $2 million through initial contributions and deferred gifts. Backed by its funding ability, the Leadership Circle provides grants to projects that provide significant community enhancements.

Leadership Circle Members Include:  Sunnie Richer & Roger Brooks, Suzie Glazer Burt, Patty & Jim Cownie, Richard L. Deming, M.D., Michele & Barry Griswell, Charlotte & Fred S. Hubbell, Sharon & Kyle J. Krause, Jill & Mark Oman and Emily & Fred Weitz

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in About Us, Des Moines Water Works Park, Parks August 29, 2012

Metro-wide Water Conservation Request Lifted

The Stage 1 Water Conservation request made by Des Moines Water Works and all metro area water utilities to voluntarily cease or reduce lawn irrigation will be canceled, effective September 1.

Customer water demand has tapered off in recent weeks as peak lawn irrigation season is past, and voluntary water conservation is no longer necessary; however, if low river flows and dry ground conditions persist into next spring and summer, the conservation plan will need to be reinitiated.

The water conservation request was issued in July due to the excessive temperatures and near historic low river levels. Des Moines Water Works customers set a record water usage of 96.6 million gallons on July 24, and the month of July was an all-time record month of 2.5 billion gallons of water.

“While the Stage 1 request calling for decreased lawn irrigation has been lifted for now, we encourage all Des Moines and suburb customers to continue observing wise water practices to be good stewards of nature’s most precious resource,” said Randy Beavers, Des Moines Water Works CEO and General Manager.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Conservation, Customer Service, Customers August 27, 2012

A Day in the Life of: Des Moines Water Works Customer Service Representative

Meet Shelly.  Shelly is a Customer Service Representative at Des Moines Water Works and has been helping customers for over five years.  Shelly begins taking customers calls at 7:30 am.  Monday mornings and the day after a holiday are usually the busiest days.  Once, during a busy day, she took 100 calls by 10:30 am.  Usually, she takes about 100 calls a day.

Shelly also takes care of customer requests that come via Des Moines Water Works’ website. These requests are for starting, stopping and transfer of service.  Requests also come in for changes to a customer’s account information.  These requests tend to be heavier towards the beginning of the month.

Shelly, along with other Customer Service Representatives, also assist customers who come to Des Moines Water Works in person for assistance.  They may be coming in to bring in vouchers to assist with payment of their bill or to set up pay arrangements.

Shelly enjoys her job because she is able to talk to many people and no two calls are ever the same.  Shelly says, “Every job is important at Des Moines Water Works, but the Customer Service department is the place that customers go to for answers and if I do not give them the correct information, then I am not doing my job.”  Shelly also knows that she may be the only contact that a customer may have with Des Moines Water Works, so she tries to deliver the highest quality of service possible.

Des Moines Water Works Customer Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7:30 am-5:30 pm, at (515) 283-8700 or in person at 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines, Iowa.

Posted by: Terilee H. Clark 1 Comment
Labels: , , , , Posted in About Us, Customer Service, Employees August 22, 2012

Stage 1 Water Conservation Update

Metro area residential and business customers continue to support the Stage 1 Water Conservation request made by all of the Des Moines area water utilities to voluntarily cease or reduce lawn irrigation, after pumping a record 96.6 million gallons on July 24.

With cooler temperatures, customer water demand has dropped to somewhat lower levels than typical of late summer when turf irrigation is reduced; however, river levels remain at near historic low levels, with the outlook for the remaining late summer and fall months to be drier than normal.

The metro-wide Stage 1 Water Conservation Plan – which is voluntary and targeted at reduced turf irrigation – is still in effect, and will remain in effect through the end of August.  Watering of gardens, plants and other landscaping was not targeted in the Stage 1 conservation efforts and may continue through the fall.   Since Stage 1 is a voluntary effort, customers who have damaged turf and desire to restore it in September – which is an ideal time for reseeding – may irrigate the damaged/repaired sections of their lawn.

“The Des Moines area water utilities continue to emphasize the wise use of water both inside and outside the home and businesses.” said Randy Beavers, Des Moines Water Works CEO and General Manager. “Residential and business customers can do their part by not over-irrigating and maintaining properly working irrigation systems.”

For more information on the Stage 1 Water Conservation Plan, as well as daily water pumpage updates, visit  http://www.dsmh2o.com/reducing-water-consumption-by-10-percent.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in About Us, Conservation, Customers, Environment August 21, 2012

Board of Water Works Trustees Names William Stowe as New CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works

DES MOINES, Iowa (August 21, 2012) – The Board of Water Works Trustees of Des Moines Water Works has selected Bill Stowe as CEO and General Manager.

“Bill Stowe is a capable leader who is well prepared for the challenges and opportunities facing Water Works, one of Des Moines’ greatest assets,” said Graham Gillette, Board of Water Works Trustees member and co-chair of the search committee.  “Bill Stowe is an innovator who understands the role Water Works plays in ensuring Central Iowa’s future.”

Stowe was one of five finalists interviewed by the Board of Trustees and questioned by employee and community panelists earlier this month. The five finalists were chosen from a large field of candidates. Stowe replaces Randy Beavers who has served Des Moines Water Works for 31 years, the last 5 as its CEO and General Manager.  Beavers will retire September 7, and Stowe will assume his duties on September 24. Des Moines Water Works is a regional water utility serving approximately 500,000 people in the Des Moines metro area.

“The five finalists were all outstanding.  Each would have brought a unique skill set to the job,” said Leslie Gearhart, Board of Water Works Trustees member and co-chair of the search committee.  “We are grateful to the employees and members of the community who helped screen candidates during this process.”

Stowe currently serves as Assistant Manager-Public Works/Engineering for the City of Des Moines, a position he has held since 1999.  Prior to that, Stowe was the Human Resources Director for the City of Des Moines, Operations Manager for MidAmerican Energy, as well as an analyst for Shell Oil, labor relations representative for Inland Steel Industries and a field examiner for the National Labor Relations Board.  Stowe has a B.A. from Grinnell College, a M.S. from the University of Wisconsin, a M.S. from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from Loyola University Law School.

“It’s a privilege to have an opportunity to lead this exceptional utility in service to our community. I welcome the opportunity to join with the employees of Water Works to continue to provide valued water services to our customers throughout the region,” said Stowe.

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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 people). 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.

 

Posted by: Laura Sarcone 1 Comment
Labels: , , , , , , Posted in About Us, Board of Trustees, Employees August 21, 2012

Successful Gardening in a Drought

As drought conditions continue, it is essential to monitor your trees, shrubs and plants to avoid losing them for good.  As a general rule, most plants require a minimum of one inch of rain a week to remain healthy.  This can be obtained by either rainfall or watering.  Watering should be done in the early morning or early evening to avoid the hottest part of the day and evaporation.  Adhering to Des Moines Water Works stage 1 water conservation guidelines, it is also requested that any watering be done every other day.

Trees, shrubs, and perennials should be watched for either curling leaves or flagging (yellowing of the leaves).  A periodic, heavy watering is more beneficial than a light, daily spraying on these plants.  A bucket of water with small holes in the bottom allows water to slowly release into the soil giving a more uniform watering. Using a two-inch thick layer of mulch around these plants will also help retain moisture levels in the soil and reduce water evaporation. Trees that have been in the ground for less than five years should have priority over older trees.

Vegetable, annual and container gardening dry out much faster than other plants and watering should be done in the morning or late evening. Vegetable crops will likely be smaller than normal due to the heat. They tend to use the energy from water and sunshine just to flower and stay alive and don’t have enough extra energy to produce the crop.

Most brown grass is considered dormant, not dead. Applying a fertilizer would not be recommended in these conditions. Fall aeration and over-seeding would be better money spent. Under DMWW stage 1 water conservation guidelines, it is requested that residents and businesses in the Des Moines metro area cease or reduce lawn irrigation.  If you must irrigate (new sod), do so early morning or late evening, and every other day.

Posted by: Todd Monson No Comments
Labels: , , , , , , , Posted in Conservation, Customers, Des Moines Botanical Center, Green Initiatives August 16, 2012

Brown is the New Green

Recent requests from Des Moines Water Works and metro suburbs asking residential and business customers to eliminate or reduce turf irrigation has presented the opportunity for customers to be “green” by allowing their grass to go brown.

Many environmentally conscious residential and commercial customers have made significant reductions in water use. For example, Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines has reduced its outdoor water usage by 50 percent.

“When residents are asked to help conserve water, we know Mercy needs to do its part,” said Roy Young, manager of Mercy Properties and Plant Operations. “Typically our lawn irrigation systems run at night for 20 minutes on the Mercy Central Campus, Mercy College and Mercy Park Apartments. We’ve cut that to 10 minutes, and in some cases less. In a drought situation every bit of conservation helps.”

Another environmentally conscious customer, Quick Trip Corporation, has completely shut off irrigation at 22 Des Moines area locations.

It makes good sense to be a wise water user all year long, not just in times of drought.  Residential and business customers can do their part by not over-irrigating and maintaining properly working irrigation systems.  Des Moines Water Works and metro area suburbs appreciate customers pulling together and making small sacrifices, primarily in reduced irrigation, to help ensure Des Moines Water Works can continue to deliver a quality and reliable water supply.

Posted by: John Lins No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Conservation, Customer Service, Customers, Green Initiatives