Author ArchiveJune 10, 2013
Have you ever wondered where your money goes when you pay your water bill?
Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Water Bill, water rates Posted in About Us, Customer Service, Customers, Rates June 3, 2013
Dale Maffitt Reservoir is a 200-acre lake that sits amongst the tall oaks overlooking Des Moines Water Works’ L.D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant. For the first time ever, Des Moines Water Works is now allowing the use of canoes and kayaks on the lake. Effective June 1, canoe and kayak enthusiasts now have the opportunity to purchase an annual user permit, which will allow them to launch their watercraft on these pristine waters.
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. In 2000, Des Moines Water Works began operating the L.D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant at Maffitt Reservoir in effort to produce enough water for Des Moines and surrounding areas’ growing population. 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.
The annual boat permit can be purchased at Des Moines Water Works General Office, located at 2201 George Flagg Parkway, in Des Moines, for $20.00. No motors or sails of any kind will be allowed, which will help ensure the lake remains a high quality water source for the area’s drinking water supply.
In addition to the land used for the lake itself, Des Moines Water Works maintains hundreds of acres surrounding the lake in an effort to protect the watershed. Today, Des Moines Water Works owns and maintains nearly 1,500 acres that comprise Dale Maffitt Reservoir and Park.
Located southwest of Des Moines, Dale Maffitt Reservoir and Park is truly a hidden gem. Fishing, picnicking, and hiking are favorite pastimes at Maffitt Reservoir and Park. For the general public’s convenience, several docks that extend nearly 20 feet into the lake are located along the shore. A nature trail of approximately 4.5 miles leads hikers around the lake.
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 and kayaks on Maffitt Lake, please contact Des Moines Water Works at (515) 283-8700.
Des Moines Water Work is committed to delivering safe, affordable and abundant drinking water to our customers. Safe drinking water is treated water that has been tested for harmful and potentially harmful substances and has met or exceeded drinking water quality standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Iowa. The EPA sets drinking water standards to define the limits of contaminants considered safe for drinking water. These levels are based on studies of the health effects associated with each contaminant and include a sufficient safety margin to ensure that water meeting these standards is safe for nearly everyone to drink.
The Consumer Confidence Report is an annual water quality report that helps customers understand the quality and safety of tap water provided by Des Moines Water Works. The current Consumer Confidence Report is now available on Des Moines Water Works’ website at http://www.dmww.com/upl/documents/library/ccr2013.pdf.
If you would like a printed copy of the Consumer Confidence Report mailed to you, please contact a Customer Service Representative at (515) 283-8700. If you have any questions about your drinking water, please contact Des Moines Water Works at (515) 283-8700.Labels: Consumer Confidence Report, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, water quality, Water Quality Report Posted in Customer Service, Customers, Water Quality May 23, 2013
Des Moines Water Works is asking metro area customers – residential and commercial – to manage seasonal irrigation for the next several weeks, even as drought conditions throughout the state continue to improve.
Due to the recent historic nitrate concentrations found in the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers, Des Moines Water Works is not currently pulling water from either river. The utility is able to meet current demand by relying on other water sources, including Maffitt Reservoir, Crystal lake and aquifer storage wells. If demand increases, Des Moines Water Works will have no choice but to start taking water from the heavily polluted rivers, and may be unable to remove nitrate in a manner that keeps up with high demand.
“Although drought conditions are no longer an immediate threat to Central Iowa, increased nitrate levels from agricultural run-off, coupled with high demand, puts Des Moines Water Works in a difficult position,” Bill Stowe, CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works. “With the assistance of all metro customers using water wisely, Des Moines Water Works can effectively and efficiently use the available water supply to provide safe drinking water that does not violate nitrate standards.”
Wise use of water is defined as identifying efficient lawn irrigation practices, taking advantage of technological advances to eliminate waste, as well as being alert to and repairing leaking household fixtures or other large water consumption appliances in homes and businesses.
Wise water best practices for residential and commercial irrigation use include:
- 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.
- Shift watering to no more frequently than the ODD numbered days of the week if your house address ends with an ODD number and EVEN numbered days if your 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.
- Test the irrigation system each spring to ensure there are no leaking sprinkler heads and that each head is properly directing its spray onto the turf and landscape.
In response to Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s environmental policy adviser, Rick Robinson’s “State Rules Wouldn’t Fix Nitrates” letter to The Des Moines Register on May 13.
Thanks to a capital investment made years ago and the dedicated work of our employees Des Moines Water Works continues to meet the needs of the 500,000 customers in the twenty communities we serve. However, the extreme levels of nitrates found in our water supply this year poses a significant threat to our customers. We feel it is time for Iowans to engage in a serious discussion about this growing problem.
Nitrate levels in both the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nitrate standard (10 mg/l – determined as the level protective of public health) this spring. There were more nitrates in those rivers last week than there were all of last year combined.
Des Moines Water Works relies primarily on the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers as sources for Central Iowa’s drinking water. Because unprecedented nitrate levels have affected both rivers concurrently, Des Moines Water Works activated its Nitrate Removal Facility last Friday to keep finished drinking water below EPA standards. This facility, constructed in 1992 for $3.6 million, costs $7,000 per day to operate. Ratepayers fund the cost of constructing, maintaining and operating this facility.
We agree with one thing Rick Robinson of Iowa Farm Bureau Federation wrote, “if we all do our part – farmers, homeowners, businesses and communities – we will have a positive impact on Iowa’s watershed.” Where we diverge is that we do not believe everyone is doing their part to protect Iowa’s waterways.
Des Moines Water Works had the foresight to build a denitrification facility. DMWW has not had to operate it since 2007, but this is largely because DMWW has invested millions of additional dollars in additional treatment options to provide denitrification since 2007. It is misleading for a person to suggest the denitrification facility’s lack of use during recent years is proof nitrate levels have been lower than they have been in past years. DMWW has been able to avoid the costly operation of the facility because of other actions and investments it has made.
The heart of Des Moines Water Works’ mission is protecting public health. We can no longer work quietly while source waters continue to be severely polluted by upstream land practices. This should not be a sterile discussion influenced only by data and statistics—although ample alarming data and statistics exist. Nitrates pose serious health risks. It is increasingly costly for Des Moines Water Works to remove nitrates through treatment processes to meet necessary EPA standards.
There is simply no disputing surface water is significantly impacted by certain types of land use – the primary land uses in our upstream watersheds are agricultural related. Chemical fertilizers applied to fields are exacerbated by field drainage tiles, allowing run off to reach rivers and streams quickly and without the benefit of natural filtration and, this year, plant uptake.
In addition to exceptional levels of nitrates, high levels of ammonia and phosphorus, algae blooms, and increasing levels of bacteria are all deteriorating water quality in Iowa. The recently published Nutrient Reduction Strategy supported by many prominent State leaders, including Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the Governor’s office, is inadequate in that it lacks regulation, goals, measurable outcomes, or timelines for reducing agricultural (non-point) discharges. We advocate regulation through EPA-endorsed numeric standards by watershed—an approach with local emphasis that considers the current state of each watershed and does not force a one-size-fits-all approach.
Facing the reality of the degrading water quality and open meaningful discussion to identify solutions is long overdue.
Iowans should demand state leaders address improving and protecting owa’s water sources. State funding to support monitoring of nitrate pollutants should not be stripped away from the flood center of Iowa, an objective guardian if Iowa’s rivers and streams. Without significant action, Des Moines Water Works will be forced to continue treating degraded source waters, and our customers will continue to pay for that extensive treatment in their rates. With bold and innovative action, Des Moines Water Works believes healthy source waters and agriculture can co-exist. They must—both are critical to Iowa’s future.
Water Works Board of Trustees:
Graham Gillette, Chair
David A. Carlson, Vice Chair
Leslie A. Gearhart, Trustee
Susan R. Huppert, Trustee
Marc R. Wallace, Trustee
William G. Stowe, Des Moines Water Works CEO & General ManagerLabels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Nitrate, Nitrate Removal Facility Posted in Board of Trustees, Source Water, Water Quality May 13, 2013
One of the world’s largest collections of flowering crabapple trees can be found at Water Works Park, and will be in full bloom this week. Visitors may drive or walk through the Arie den Boer Arboretum between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. to view the colorful display of 1,200 crabapple trees, located in the northeast corner of Water Works Park, off of Fleur Drive.
The Arie den Boer Arboretum was established in 1930, and contains over 350 varieties of flowering crabapple trees, including some varieties that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.Labels: Arie den Boer Arboretum, Crabapple Bloom, crabapple trees, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Water Works Park Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park, Parks May 7, 2013
Over 2,000 fifth grade students from 40 schools across the state of Iowa will celebrate water at the 17th Annual Iowa Children’s Water Festival. The Water Festival is a free, fun, instructive day filled with opportunities to educate and celebrate Iowa’s most valuable resource – water. All activities will be held on the Des Moines Area Community College-Ankeny Campus on Thursday, May 9, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and concluding at 3:30 p.m.
The Iowa Children’s Water Festival is designed as an opportunity for students to enjoy a fun-filled day while learning all aspects of water – including water quality, wise-water usage practices, safety and recreation. Students participate in hands-on learning activities, presented by a variety of water professionals, representing government agencies, environmental organizations, higher education and private businesses.
“Students participate in various activities that engages and empowers them to protect Iowa’s water resources,” said Laura Sarcone, Festival Coordinator. “Before they realize it, students are talking about aquifers, surface waters, run-off, watersheds, the water cycle and more.”
The Iowa Children’s Water Festival is sponsored by Iowa Association of Water Agencies (IAWA) and coordinated by several local and state agencies, including Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines Area Community College, Iowa DNR, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, Iowa Rural Water Association and West Des Moines Water Works.Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Iowa Children's Water Festival Posted in Education May 2, 2013
If you’re looking for a way to get healthier, a new program from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in partnership with Des Moines Water Works and several Iowa organizations, provides you resources and recognition for spending more time outdoors.
The Healthy & Happy Outdoors initiative, or H2O, connects you to Iowa’s natural resources and helps you enjoy an active lifestyle.
It’s easy to get started:
- Register online at www.iowadnr.gov/h2o.
- Get outside. Log your outdoor recreation activities on the H2O website.
- Need some recommendations? Find more than 1,600 recreation locations across the state in an interactive map (including Water Works Park and Maffitt Reservoir Park) along with suggestions for outdoor opportunities you might enjoy.
- Win prizes! Each activity you log counts as an entry for regular drawings of outdoor-themed prizes, with a first-year celebration of H2O at the Iowa State Fair in August 2013.
The DNR and the program’s partners aim to have 1,000 participants sign up for H2O in the first year, and 50,000 participants by 2016. Program partners include the Healthiest State Initiative, Des Moines Water Works, Iowa Association of County Conservation Boards, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Department of Transportation, and Iowa Tourism Office.
“Our goal is to help Iowans increase mental and physical health through outdoor recreation in Iowa’s natural spaces,” said Chuck Gipp, DNR Director.
The H2O website will continually grow with tips, healthy resources, additional activities and more. You can also help improve the map – if you visit a recreation area not shown on the map, just include it in your activity log and the H2O team will add it.
Des Moines Water Works is pleased to be a part of this exciting initiative. Get healthy and happy outdoors today!Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Healthy & Happy Outdoors, Healthy and Happy Outdoors, Iowa DNR Posted in Customers, Environment, Health, Parks April 5, 2013
The Center on Sustainable Communities, Des Moines Water Works, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Metro Waste Authority and MidAmerican Energy will honor six organizations with Environmental Impact Awards at a luncheon on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. The awards program will take place from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge, 2500 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines.
The Environmental Impact Awards were established in 2011to recognize organizations and leaders who exemplify environmentally sustainable practices. The 2013 Award Winners are:
Built Environment (presented by Center on Sustainable Communities)
Business (presented by Greater Des Moines Partnership)
Civic (presented by Metro Waste Authority)
- Government Body: City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation
- Non-governmental Organization: Iowa Legal Aid
Two organizations will receive special recognition for excellence in water management and energy efficiency at the May 15 luncheon. These excellence awards are provided by Des Moines Water Works and MidAmerican Energy, respectively.
Tickets for the luncheon are $25 per person and registration is available online at www.icosc.com.Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Environmental Impact Awards Posted in About Us, Conservation, Environment April 3, 2013
On May 11, The Move Project will host The Water Ride, a bicycle ride that raises funds for clean water projects in Africa. Starting and ending at Mullets, riders have the option to ride 20, 40 or 85 miles.
The Move Project is a non-profit organization that focuses on the alleviation of poverty, freeing slaves, providing shelter to the homeless and food and water to those without access to these life essentials. Des Moines Water Works is The Water Ride’s sponsor this year, covering all costs associated with the ride.
“This event is powerful in that 100% of the funds raised on this ride will go directly to providing clean water to a community in Africa. Having access to clean water affords individuals and families the opportunity to receive an education, work and live a healthier life,” said Sam Mahlstadt, co-founder of The Move Project.
“The Water Ride elevates our community’s awareness of the inaccessibility of water in other countries, as well as celebrates our local drinking water quality,” said Bill Stowe, CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works. “The Water Ride is a great way to culminate our National Drinking Water Week festivities and emphasize the value of drinking water to a community’s overall health.”
Sign up by going to www.thewaterride.eventbrite.com by May 3, to receive a t-shirt at the event.
“When I took a summer off last year to ride my bicycle across America for clean water projects in Kenya, I realized how easy it is to tie in a passion to benefit others. If riding a bike for half a day could transform a community, there’s no question about signing up,” said Emily Boyd, co-founder of The Water Ride.Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, The Move Project, The Water Ride Posted in About Us, Water Quality, Water Treatment