Archive for the ‘Board of Trustees’ CategoryMay 16, 2013
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 October 23, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa (October 23, 2012) – The Board of Water Works Trustees has proposed Des Moines Water Works’ 2013 calendar year budget, which includes a zero rate increase for Des Moines and wholesale water customers. In some communities served by Des Moines Water Works – such as unincorporated Polk County, Pleasant Hill, Cumming, Alleman and Runnells – who have more significant infrastructure needs, Des Moines Water Works has increased rates for residential customers by five percent.
The proposed budget includes $50.4 million of operating revenue. Operating expenses are budgeted at $33.3 million, while capital infrastructure costs are budgeted at $19.4 million. The Board of Water Works Trustees will hold a public hearing for the proposed 2013 budget on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, at 3:30 p.m.
“The Board’s actions are the result of significant efforts by staff to reduce costs during a period of difficult economic challenges for our customers,” said Bill Stowe, CEO and General Manger, Des Moines Water Works. “However, a zero rate increase will not likely be repeated as the Board moves toward greater investment in the water utilities’ infrastructure and rate increases more consistent with the challenges of producing and delivering water.”
For a complete listing of Des Moines Water Works’ 2013 water rate structure, visit www.dmww.com. New water rates will go into effect April 1, 2013, for those customers with rate increases.Labels: Board of Trustees, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, water rates Posted in About Us, Board of Trustees, Customer Service, Customers, Rates 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.
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.
Board of Water Works Trustees Announces Candidates for CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works
DES MOINES, Iowa (July 23, 2012) – The Board of Water Works Trustees of the City of Des Moines, Iowa, announces five candidates for the position of CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works. The Board of Water Works Trustees selected Colin Baenziger & Associates, a nationwide search for Des Moines Water Works, a regional utility serving approximately 500,000 people in the Des Moines metro area.
“The field of candidates for CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works is impressive,” said Leslie Gearhart, Board of Water Works Trustees member and co-chair of the search committee. “The Board wanted to conduct a national search for a person with a proven track record as a leader and communicator. By the looks of the finalists we have chosen, we appear to be close to finding just that person.”
“The Board demanded the recruitment of the new CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works be an open and inclusive process,” said Graham Gillette, Board of Water Works Trustees member and co-chair of the search committee. “Naturally, the next stage will include the participation of employees, City of Des Moines leadership, business leaders, individual customers, and large customers throughout the metropolitan area.”
Candidates for the position of CEO and General Manager of Des Moines Water Works are listed alphabetically.
Current position: Utilities Director, City of Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Previous experience: Director, Operations Manager, Operations Specialist and Solids Handling Operator, City of Cedar Rapids Water Pollution Control Department.
Last position held: Principal, Project Manager and Group Leader, CDM Smith, Edison, NJ.
Previous experience: Deputy Director, Department of the Treasury, State of New Jersey. Executive Director, East Windsor Municipal Utilities Authority, East Windsor, NJ.
Current position: Vice President-Community Relations and Economic Development Duke Energy (formerly Cinergy, PSI Energy), Plainfield, IN.
Previous experience: Vice President-Business Relations and Development, Regional Director-Customer and Community Relations and Area Manager-Field Customer Relations, Duke Energy/Cinergy.
Current position: Assistant Manager-Public Works/Engineering, City of Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa.
Previous experience:Human Resources Director, City of Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa. Operations Manager, Manager of Human Resources, Manager of Employee Relations, Manager of Labor Relations, MidAmerican Energy.
Current Position: Community Manager, Barefoot Bay, FL.
Previous experience: Utilities Director, City of Palm Bay, Palm Bay, FL. City Manager, Groveland, FL. Assistant City Manager/City Clerk, Mary Esther, FL.
The Board of Water Works Trustees invites the public to an open house to meet the candidates on Wednesday, August 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Des Moines Water Works, 2201 George Flagg Parkway. Each member of the Board of Trustees will individually interview each candidate the morning of Thursday, August 9. Afternoon sessions consist of candidate interviews by the full board as well as two panels consisting of Des Moines Water Works employees and community representatives. Afternoon interview sessions are open to the public. The Board’s selection will be announced the week of August 13.
Current Des Moines Water Works CEO and General Manager, Randy Beavers, P.E., informed the Board of Trustees on April 1, of his retirement, effective September 7. Mr. Beavers has been CEO and General Manager since December 2008, and served as Interim CEO & General Manager since December 2007, following the retirement of L. D. McMullen. Mr. Beavers began his career at Des Moines Water Works as Principal Engineer in 1981.
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 customers). 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.Labels: Board of Trustees, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Randy Beavers Posted in About Us, Board of Trustees March 29, 2012
Thanks to those before us, the early history of Des Moines Water Works was chronicled in several books of typewritten pages up until 1971, which was the centennial year of the founding of the company. The priceless books of yellowed pages provide a glimpse into significant occurrences in years past. Sources of information for those history books included scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, official records of the Board of Water Works Trustees, and the memories of various individuals.
The following entries may not pertain to the most momentous events, but they were notable. And as brief as some of the notations are, they tell the whole story.
September 1922: “An article titled “Des Moines Municipal Pumping Station” appeared in the magazine National Engineer. The article, illustrated by large pictures of the new steam turbine-driven centrifugal pumping unit, boiler feed pumps, and coal crane and pits, was written by A.T. Luce, engineer and superintendent of the Des Moines Municipal Water Plant.”
November 16, 1922: “The General Manager was instructed to furnish the Board with an itemized statement of the cost of operation and maintenance for the various automobiles used in connection with the Water Plant. This report shows that the Water Plant owned 22 trucks and roadsters, purchase dates varying from 1913 to 1922, a Dodge Coupe purchased in 1922, and a Peerless, purchase date not indicated.”
May 15, 1924: “To discontinue paying wages in cash and to pay by check.”
July 17, 1924: “Board to discontinue farming operations on water supply grounds.”
December 5, 1929: “News story in Des Moines Tribune quoting Mr. Denman (DMWW General Manager) as saying that too many people were still getting water by waving the pump handle up and down instead of connecting to the city water mains.”
March 5, 1931: “Directional sign for aviators to be painted on top of new water tower.” (Hazen tower)
February 8, 1939: “The General Manager was authorized to purchase three horses to be used on the water supply grounds.”
December 31, 1956: “Year 1956 was Iowa’s driest on record.”
July 8, 1959: “Water Board sells the locomotive.” (In 1956, a steam engine was purchased by DMWW to serve as a backup to the boiler. According to “old timers” in Water Production, the locomotive’s boiler was never fired.)
August 25, 1960: “Water Works laboratory testing 10,000 elms on Water Works property for Dutch elm disease.”
August 14, 1963: “Four boys turn on 47 fire hydrants in the night.”
July 13, 1965: “Water Board to be represented at ground breaking ceremonies for Saylorville Dam on July 17.”
January 24, 1966: “Fleur Drive to be widened.”
February 17, 1970: “Snowmobiling not approved for Water Works Park or Maffitt Reservoir.”
We hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into Des Moines Water Works’ history. Do you have any early memories of Des Moines Water Works?
Photo of steam locomotive #1678 taken by Richard Ikenberry.
Last October, Des Moines Water Works Board of Trustees approved water rate increases that will be effective on water bills beginning April 1. Volume charges for water will increase $0.06 per thousand gallons for residential customers in the City of Des Moines. Water charges for a typical four-person household will increase approximately $0.45 per month. On average, a two-person household will see an increase of approximately $0.22 per month. Water availability charges are not changing.
For more information on your water rates, visit www.dmww.com. If you have any questions, please contact Des Moines Water Works at 283-8700.
Owned by the citizens of Des Moines and managed by a Board of Trustees, Des Moines Water Works is independent from the City of Des Moines. But it wasn’t always that way.
The Des Moines Water Company was formed in 1871 as a privately owned company. In 1898, the City tried to purchase the company but the citizens voted it down. The vote eventually passed in 1911, but the sale wasn’t finalized. It was not until 1919 that a favorable vote of the citizens brought about public ownership by the City. The water company was organized as a public utility under the Code of Iowa, and the name was changed to Des Moines Water Works. At that time, the population of Des Moines was about 125,000, and there were 23,210 water services.
In 1923, the legislature removed the Board of Water Works Trustees from the City Council’s supervision. At that time, it became law that the Board would have the same powers as the City Council with the exception of levying taxes, and members would be appointed by the Mayor, subject to approval by the City Council. The Board is responsible for appointing the chief executive officer/general manager who is accountable for operation of the utility in accordance with law and Board policies.
In summary, Des Moines Water Works is an independently operated public utility with a commitment to providing quality water in reliable quantities to approximately 500,000 people in the Greater Des Moines area.
Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) has been a publically owned utility governed by a five-member Board of Trustees since 1919. Members of the Board of Water Works Trustees (Board) are appointed by the Mayor for six-year terms subject to approval by the City Council. The Board of Water Works Trustees appoints Des Moines Water Works CEO and General Manager. Functions of the Board can be described as policy making, appraisal, and evaluation. A majority vote by the Board is necessary to pass any motion or take any action.
The full Board meets monthly, typically the fourth Tuesday of the month. Two Board committees – Planning and Finance and Audit – also meet monthly. All Board and Board committee meetings are open to the public in accordance with Code of Iowa Chapter 21. Public notice and an agenda is posted at least 24 hours prior to commencement of Board meetings, and meeting minutes are subject to the Open Records Law. It is not required by law, but in an effort to be transparent, Board and Board committee meetings are recorded and posted on DMWW’s website. Board meetings can also be viewed on Mediacom Channels 86 or 97.1 the Tuesday after the Board meeting beginning at approximately 4:00 pm and on Thursdays, beginning at approximately 8:30 pm.
Visit http://www.dmww.com/about-us/board-of-trustees/ to learn more about the members of the Board of Water Works Trustees, meeting agendas, supporting documentation, and recordings of meetings.
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.Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, infrastructure, water rates Posted in About Us, Board of Trustees, Infrastructure, Rates March 23, 2011
Last October, the Des Moines Water Works Board of Trustees approved water rate increases that will be effective on water bills beginning April 1. Water availability charges for most residential customers will increase $1 per month. Volume charges for water will increase $0.27 for residential customers in the City of Des Moines. Total water charges for a typical four-person household will increase approximately $3.00 per month. On average, a two-person household will see a total increase of approximately $2.00 per month.
For more information on the rate increase, please refer to an October 2010 blog article.
If you have any questions regarding your bill, please contact a Customer Service Representative at (515) 283-8700.