Archive for April, 2019

April 29, 2019

2019 Capital Improvements

Water utilities are an infrastructure intensive industry. Des Moines Water Works maintains over 10,000 fire hydrants and approximately 1,400 miles of buried water mains which have 9,800 valves. Des Moines Water Works has over 80,000 water meters and automated reading devices serving our customers. Each of Des Moines Water Works’ three water treatment plants and more than 50 remote sites (i.e. ground or elevated water storage facilities, pump and booster stations) have multiple mechanical, electrical, and controls systems that require a high degree of maintenance to ensure these systems work at peak efficiency to allow us to treat and distribute the highest quality water at the least possible cost.

Des Moines Water Works will be investing $1.4 million in building and facility maintenance, $1.9 million in new pumping and storage facilities, $2.9 in equipment updates, $3.5 million in treatment plant improvements, and $9.6 million in water main replacement and distribution system improvements as the major areas of focus for 2019.

As the largest 2019 capital investment, water main replacement is a necessary, preventative approach that saves money on repairs, reduces the loss of water that occurs as a result of the main breaks, and minimizes disruption to customers. Des Moines Water Works prioritizes water main projects by: replacement of water mains that have a history of breaks; modeling the likelihood of future breaks; relocation to accommodate city, county, or state construction projects; and improvement of fire flow and meeting the needs of customers.

The Board of Water Works Trustees has recognized the utility can most cost effectively maintain our infrastructure assets by generating the necessary capital through water rate revenue. This allows the utility to pay for the maintenance and replacements on a “pay as you go” basis. The 2019 utility budget included an upcoming rate increase (effective April 1) to allow an operating budget growth of 6.2%, and produce an estimated $19.3 million for new capital improvement projects after existing debt service obligations are met.

After each project is designed, Des Moines Water Works will receive bids from contractors and the construction contract will be awarded to the contractor that will be performing the work. If the bids received allow Des Moines Water Works to complete all the streets within budget, construction will take place in 2019.

Des Moines Water Works will contact customers directly in the neighborhoods throughout Des Moines and unincorporated Polk County that have been scheduled for water main replacement in 2019. Additional customer communications and public meetings will be forthcoming. Des Moines Water Works appreciates the cooperation and understanding from customers during construction and will work with contractors to minimize the inconvenience to customers impacted by the following projects:

Polk County Water Main Replacement – CONTRACT 1
· NE 3rd Street from NE 54th Avenue to NE 49th Place
· NE 5th Street from NE 51st Place to NE 54th Avenue

Polk County Water Main Replacement – CONTRACT 2
· NW 51st Place from NW 2nd Avenue to NW 6th Drive
· NW 49th Place from NW 2nd Avenue to NW 6th Drive

Des Moines Water Main Replacement – CONTRACT
· Park Avenue from SW 33rd Street to SW 37th Street
· 48th Street private main conversion to public main

City of Des Moines Road Reconstruction with Des Moines Water Main Replacement
· Fleur Drive Reconstruction from Bell Avenue to Watrous Phase 1-North Bound
· 2019 Roadway Reconstruction:
– SE 5th Street from Park Avenue to E. Broad Street
– South Union Street from E. Kirkwood Avenue to Park Avenue

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Customer Service, Infrastructure, Rates April 24, 2019

Boat Permits Now Available for Maffitt Reservoir

Canoe, kayak and paddleboard enthusiasts are invited to enjoy the beautiful water and views at Maffitt Reservoir and Park. Interested users must purchase an annual permit to launch their watercraft at Maffitt Reservoir. The annual boat permit can be purchased for $20.00 at Des Moines Water Works’ General Office, located at 2201 George Flagg Parkway, in Des Moines. No motors or sails of any kind are allowed, which helps ensure the lake remains a high quality water source for the area’s drinking water supply.

Dale Maffitt Reservoir is a 200-acre lake that sits among the tall oaks overlooking Des Moines Water Works’ L.D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant. The lake, primarily located in Polk County, also has corners that reach into Warren, Dallas and Madison Counties. The reservoir was constructed in the early 1940s, as a backup water source and named in honor of then General Manager of Des Moines Water Works, Dale Maffitt. In 2000, Des Moines Water Works began operating the L.D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant at Maffitt Reservoir, producing up to 25 million gallons per day for Des Moines and surrounding areas. For decades, nature lovers and anglers have enjoyed the serenity of the lake, as ducks, geese, river otter and a multitude of fish species call it home.

Park hours are 7:00 am-8:00 pm (Standard Time) and 6:00 am-9:00 pm (Daylight Savings Time). Take Army Post Road west, across Interstate 35 and follow the signs.

For more information on the use of canoes, kayaks and paddleboards at Maffitt Reservoir and other Park Rules, please contact Des Moines Water Works at (515) 283-8700 or visit www.dmww.com/parks-events/maffitt-reservoir.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Maffitt Reservoir, Parks April 22, 2019

On Earth Day, Des Moines Water Works Encourages All Iowans to Think Downstream

It’s a simple fact that everyone knows: water flows downstream.  As water travels downstream, it also brings with it many other things along the way like soil, debris, and other contaminants.

For Earth Day, Des Moines Water Works is encouraging everyone to Think Downstream, and this year, Des Moines Water Works is leading by example. For more than 25 years, Des Moines Water Works has been issued a permit to discharge the waste from its Nitrate Removal Facility back into the Raccoon River.  Over the past few years, Des Moines Water Works worked with regulators at Iowa DNR and staff at Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) on a process to divert Nitrate Removal Facility waste from entering the Raccoon River at the Fleur Drive plant, for treatment at the WRA.

Construction and testing for a $2.5 million pump station and pipe for the waste from the Nitrate Removal Facility to the WRA are now complete.  Moving forward, when the Nitrate Removal Facility is in operation, the WRA will receive DMWW’s nitrate removal waste where the nitrate will be treated through controlled biological environments within the WRA facility.  In addition, a beneficial reuse product called biosolids is produced for land application on agricultural fields in the Des Moines River Watershed (Polk and Jasper Counties).

“Investing in multi-million-dollar capital improvements to enhance treatment processes is one solution to deal with pollution in our source waters; however, improved upstream land use practices can reduce nutrient concentrations in downstream drinking water sources,” said Ted Corrigan, Interim CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works.  “All Iowans need to take responsibility for improving Iowa’s water quality. We encourage everyone to Think Downstream and consider what they may do to help make Iowa’s water safe for drinking and recreation.

“Both Des Moines Water Works and Des Moines WRA consider and view this venture as a major step towards environmental stewardship and are fully committed to the positive results it will yield: safe drinking water for central Iowa with a major reduction of contaminants being discharged back into our waterways that flow downstream to the next community,” said Scott Hutchens, Director, Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority.

For a video on Des Moines Water Works’ Think Downstream initiative, visit: www.thinkdownstream.com

Posted by: Laura Sarcone 1 Comment
Labels: , Posted in Conservation, Environment, Source Water, Water Treatment