Water Utilities are in a high infrastructure intensive industry. Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) maintains over 1,360 miles of buried water mains which have 9,800 valves and 8,900 fire hydrants. We have over 80,000 water meters and automated reading devices serving our customers. We soon will be adding a third water treatment plant that adds capacity and reliability in water delivery to our customers. Each of these treatment plants have multiple mechanical, electrical, and controls systems that require a high degree of maintenance to insure these systems work at peak efficiency to allow us to produce the highest level of quality water at the least possible cost.
The Board of Water Works Trustees have recognized the utility can most cost effectively maintain our infrastructure assets by generating the necessary capital through water rate revenue. This allows us to pay for the maintenance and replacements on “pay as you go basis.” The 2011 utility budget included an upcoming rate increase will allow a limited operating budget growth to 4.4% which will produce an estimated $12.8 million for new capital improvement projects after debt service obligations are met. We will be investing $4.6 million in building and facility maintenance, $5.5 million in the water main distribution system, and $1.4 million in treatment plant improvements as the major areas of focus for 2011.
We will continue to maintain the infrastructure to maximize its life so we can continue to deliver Water You Can Trust for Life.