Archive for July, 2019

July 17, 2019

2019 Citizen Water Academy

Des Moines Water Works has successfully supplied safe, abundant and affordable drinking water to central Iowans for 100 years; however, the associated planning, production, distribution, monitoring, and challenges presented by deteriorating source water are not common knowledge among most citizens. Des Moines Water Works is hosting the third annual Citizen Water Academy – a free, four-session crash course about the history, use and management of water in the central Iowa region. 

The Citizen Water Academy is designed to help community members learn and appreciate our most important natural resource – the water we depend on for life. Selected participants will receive 16 hours of instruction, tour multiple treatment plants operated by Des Moines Water Works, listen to presentations from soil, water and environmental professionals, and interact with Des Moines Water Works staff over the four sessions of this program. It is the goal that participants not only come away from the Academy with a better understanding of their local water utility, but are also equipped to help lead the conversation on important water issues now and in the future.

“You covered a lot of information in a short amount of time. 
I’m impressed with the program.”

– Katie Rock, Polk Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner; Citizen Water Academy 2018 graduate

The previous Water Academy cohorts included participants from all backgrounds – Des Moines Water Works customers, Des Moines area city councilmembers and staff, county supervisors, young professionals, writers, teachers, and more.  For more information and to apply to be a part of the 2019 Citizen Water Academy class, visit www.CitizenWaterAcademy.com.

“Excellent speakers with quality information. This will help me be a much better citizen and advocate.”

 – Patricia Prijatel, Drake Professor Emerita and health writer; Citizen Water Academy 2018 graduate

Candidates must commit to attending all four sessions:

Session 1: Thursday, October 24, 1:00-5:15 pm

Session 2: Thursday, October 31, 1:00-5:30 pm

Session 3: Wednesday, November 6, 1:00-5:00 pm​

Session 4 and Graduation: Wednesday, November 13, 1:00-5:00 pm

The deadline to apply is September 20, 2019. Des Moines Water Works staff will review all applications, give consideration to ensure the class composition is diverse and regionally balanced, and select no more than 24 candidates.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in About Us, Customers, Value of Water July 11, 2019

Des Moines Water Works Locally and Nationally Recognized for Energy Management

Des Moines Water Works has been locally and nationally recognized for energy management, energy programs and energy training. Energy costs are a significant portion of the utility’s operational budget, so implementing an energy management program is critical.

U.S. Department of Energy Recognition
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Plants partner Des Moines Water Works for their efforts to drive organizational/cultural changes that enhance the partner’s ability to improve energy performance, including installing electric submeters and energy monitors to provide staff with real-time energy data for three water treatment plants and saving $185,000 a year in energy costs.  As part of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative, Better Plants works with leading manufacturers and water and wastewater treatment agencies to boost their competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency.

The annual Better Practice Awards are bestowed upon select partners for outstanding accomplishments in implementing and promoting the practices, principles, and procedures of energy management in industry. Des Moines Water Works was formally recognized at the Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit in Arlington, Virginia, on July 10, in part due to the 60 electric submeters the utility installed to measure energy data. The data is displayed on three dedicated energy monitor screens providing Des Moines Water Works operators with information they need to operate the treatment plants efficiently.

Water treatment facilities across America increasingly face aging infrastructures and rising costs.  According to the Electric Power Research Institute, U.S. water and wastewater treatment and distribution systems purchase nearly 70 billion kWh annually (about 1.8 percent of U.S. electricity consumption).  Low-cost operational changes enabled by an energy management system can sustainably reduce operating costs to enable reinvestment in infrastructure or control rates.

As part of the broader Better Buildings Initiative, Better Plants partners voluntarily set a long-term goal, typically to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent over a 10-year period across all their U.S. operations. DOE supports these efforts with technical expertise and national recognition.

“Better Plants partners such as Des Moines Water Works are implementing innovative energy efficiency solutions in the industrial space that are cutting costs and energy-use and the Better Practice Awards honor their leadership,” said Valri Lightner, DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office Acting Director.

City of Des Moines Recognition

Des Moines Water Works was awarded Energize Des Moines’ 2018 Award for Best Practices in Energy Efficiency and Employee Training.  The award was presented to Des Moines Water Works at the May 20, 2019, City Council Meeting.

Energize Des Moines is a program to reduce energy use (electric, gas, and water) in Des Moines’ largest buildings (above 25,000 square feet). The program is part of the City Energy Project initiative to create healthier and more prosperous American cities by improving the energy efficiency of buildings. In most large American cities, buildings account for most of the energy use and carbon pollution. In Des Moines, it is 35-40%.

Des Moines Water Works added Energize Des Moines to its Energy Management System in the summer of 2017. As part of the program, Des Moines Water Works agreed to upload energy and water consumption data for the utility’s administration building to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, an online tool used to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. It is used to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings against similar buildings across the nation. In February 2018, Des Moines Water Works’ administration building became an ENERGY STAR Certified Building, outperforming 82% of similar buildings nationwide.

Using 2016 as the baseline, Des Moines Water Works improved its energy intensity by 8.58% during 2017-2018. Energy intensity is normalized using water production and weather data. The improvement saved Des Moines Water Works $615,000 in direct energy cost savings and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 2856 metric tons.

Des Moines Water Works’ Energy Management Initiatives Background

In 2018, Des Moines Water Works became the first U.S. water treatment utility to certify a water treatment plant to the ISO 50001 standard and Superior Energy Performance® (SEP) program.  The SEP program has long helped industrial and commercial organizations establish energy management systems that meet the widely respected ISO 50001 standard and achieve verified energy and cost savings.  As the first certified facility in the water sector, Des Moines Water Works’ Fleur Drive Water Treatment Plant has paved the way for similar facilities nationwide to increase efficiency, cut costs, and demonstrate responsible management of resources.

“Des Moines Water Works has taken pro-active steps in good stewardship of energy and ratepayer dollars by implementing a comprehensive energy conservation and management program,” said Ted Corrigan, Des Moines Water Works Interim CEO and General Manager.  “This culture of managing energy will help the Des Moines Water Works expand its energy and cost savings to benefit the environment and our water customers.  Des Moines Water Works is a leader in stewardship of natural resources, improving energy performance, and reducing carbon emissions.”

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Environment, Public Policy July 10, 2019

Summer Irrigation Odd-Even Watering Schedule

Landscape irrigation makes up a large portion of water consumption, particularly during the warmer months of the year. There are many sophisticated automated, in-ground lawn sprinkler systems in use today; however, these systems require regular maintenance to operate efficiently. Even the most properly maintained system can be operated unwisely. 

Des Moines Water Works encourages central Iowa businesses and homeowners to Use Water Wisely, a recommended program aimed at smart summer irrigation. By improving the efficiency of irrigation practices, businesses and homeowners can reduce consumption, save money, and reduce the peak load on water facilities.

Recommended Schedule

The recommended outdoor irrigation schedule applies to all spray irrigation systems for businesses and homes:

  • Watering is not recommended on Mondays.
  • Even-numbered addresses are encouraged to water on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm.
  • Odd-numbered addresses are encouraged to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm.
  • Watering is not recommended during the hottest part of the days hours of 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Examples

My home address is: 5018 1st Street. Recommended irrigation schedule: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm.

My business address is: 1355 Main Street. Recommended irrigation schedule: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm.

In addition, it is important to:

  • Test irrigation systems each spring to ensure there are no leaking sprinkler heads and that each head is properly directing its spray onto the turf and landscape.
  • For in-ground irrigation systems, install a moisture sensor that will turn off the irrigation system during its normal run cycle when there has been sufficient rainfall.
  • When possible, avoid laying sod or grass seed during the month of July and the first three weeks of August. These typically are the hottest months of the year.  New sod has no established root system and therefore requires daily watering during hot summer days to keep it alive.  Grass seed is also best used during the fall.
  • Consult your preferred garden center, lawn or landscape professional for tips and consultation for your specific lawn and landscape care and watering needs.

For more information, visit: www.dmww.com/education/using-water-wisely.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone 2 Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Conservation, Customers