Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ CategoryJune 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 May 31, 2013
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.
Des Moines Water Works is pleased to offer a low-cost water service line coverage program now available through HomeServe. This coverage offers protection for water service line breaks for single-family residents in the City of Des Moines and Des Moines Water Works’ total service areas. This program is voluntary and offers customers additional choices. The decision to participate is entirely yours.
Q: What am I responsible for?
A: As a homeowner, you are responsible for your water service line, from Des Moines Water Works water main to the water meter inside your home. The decision to insure this risk is entirely yours.
Q: How does the coverage plan work?
A: Step 1: In the event of a home emergency, just call HomeServe toll-free at 1-855-695-1493.
Step 2: A local, licensed and insured plumber will be dispatched to your home to make your repair or replacement.
Step 3: Once covered repairs are completed, just sign the repair form and HomeServe pays the plumber directly for you.
Q: What is included in the Water Service Line Coverage Plan?
A: You will be covered for qualified costs to repair or replace the broken or leaking exterior water service line, from the water meter inside your home to the Des Moines Water Works water main, including the cost to repair the exterior shut-off valve. This includes all service call charges, labor and materials for covered repairs, and basic restoration – so you’ll have no bill to pay for covered repairs. HomeServe coverage also covers situations where a customer’s meter is located in an outside meter pit, covering the line from DMWW’s main to the point where the line enters the building.
Q: How much does it cost and where do I send my payment?
A: The coverage costs $3.99 a month. Customers who sign up will be billed directly on their monthly Des Moines Water Works bill.
Q: How can I obtain more information and/or purchase the HomeServe policy?
A: You can contact HomeServe directly at 1-855-695-1493 or go to www.homeserveusa.com for more information. Sign up for coverage at www.dmwaterplans.com.
Des Moines Water Works is pleased to announce a low-cost water service line coverage program now available through HomeServe USA (HomeServe). This optional coverage offers protection for water service line breaks for single-family residents in the City of Des Moines and Des Moines Water Works’ total service areas.
“Many customers don’t realize the entire exterior water service line that connects your home with Des Moines Water Works’ water main is your responsibility as a homeowner,” said Bill Stowe, CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works. “If you were unfortunate enough to suffer a break in this line, or discover an inoperable shutoff valve, it would be up to you to find a plumber and face potentially costly repairs.”
To provide homeowners with an option, Des Moines Water Works has selected HomeServe to provide homeowners with a plan that protects them from costs associated with repairs to their water service line. After a thorough evaluation process, the coverage provided by HomeServe was determined to be the most comprehensive coverage and tailored for Des Moines Water Works’ customers.
“You may receive offers from other companies – but unlike this coverage offered by HomeServe, those offers are not customized for Des Moines Water Works’ customers, nor recommended by Des Moines Water Works,” said Stowe. “Des Moines Water Works is pleased to offer this optional coverage as a service to our customers.”
HomeServe policyholders will have an Emergency Repair Hotline that is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to bring local, licensed and insured plumbing contractors right to their home for repairs. The plan includes locating, excavating and repairing or replacing the damaged water pipe.
“This program can save you a significant amount of money, as a service line replacement can cost thousands of dollars. It can also save you the time and inconvenience of finding a qualified plumber, which can be difficult in the best of times, let alone in an emergency,” said Tom Rusin, HomeServe Chief Executive Officer. “Having this program also eliminates worry, as you can be sure the job is professionally completed by a local, licensed and insured Des Moines area plumber.”
Des Moines Water Works has secured this optional policy coverage at an affordable price of $3.99 per month, which will be conveniently billed on Des Moines Water Works’ monthly statement. For more information on the program or to register for coverage, call TOLL-FREE 1-855-695-1493 or go online to www.dmwaterplans.com.Labels: Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, HomeServe Posted in Customer Service, Customers February 1, 2013
With continued concerns about drought and a desire to ensure mechanisms are in place with the State of Iowa and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Saylorville, Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) requested the release of water from Saylorville on January 16. For six hours, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., about 5 million gallons of water was released at a rate of 30 cubic feet per second (cfs = 7.5 fluid gallons). To prepare for possible drought conditions again this summer, DMWW wanted to ensure that a future release could occur in a timely fashion.
In 1982, DMWW signed agreements with the State of Iowa and the United States of America in regards to water storage space in Saylorville Reservoir. DMWW paid $2.4 million for the storage rights, and we continue to pay $100,000 per year for maintaining a pumping facility.
“Des Moines Water Works has never exercised the process of releasing our water supply at Saylorville Reservoir,” said Bill Stowe, Des Moines Water Works CEO and General Manager. “But given last year’s drought conditions, including poor water quality while in short supply, it is in our best interest to test the procedures to protect all our water resources for our ratepayers.”
The State of Iowa has the right to request the release of 18.86% of the volume of water in Saylorville when levels are between 812-836-feet. Two-thirds of that volume would be for DMWW purposes and the other one-third for Alliant Energy in Ottumwa.
There are two components to water release from Saylorville Reservoir:
- Water quality release – this release ensures that there is enough water to support the wildlife habitat in and along the river.
- Water supply release – the potential additional water release for Des Moines Water Works and Alliant Energy. Saylorville has a specific release plan in place for varying water levels.
The water released from Saylorville Reservoir directly benefits both the Fleur Drive and Saylorville Treatment Plants. DMWW can also release water from Maffitt Reservoir to benefit the L.D. McMullen Treatment Plant as needed, too.
Other proactive measures are already in place in the event of continued drought conditions. DMWW has acquired permits to dredge parts of the Des Moines River if the channel is not bringing enough water to our intake at Prospect Park. We also have a permit to dredge part of the Raccoon River to impact the channel by the flooding station to keep the recharge ponds and Gallery maximized.
Des Moines Water Works plans to meet all of our customer needs by these increasing available supplies of water, but if the drought continues, asking the public to conserve water, particularly in regards to lawn irrigation, may once again be requested.
Effective January 1, 2013, Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) began providing total service to approximately 465 Polk County Rural Water District #1 customers. DMWW will perform the activities of meter reading, billing, payment processing and general customer service. In addition, DMWW will begin maintaining water distribution system and providing field customer service, including water sampling, leak detection, locate services, meter repair and replacement, meter reading equipment repair and replacement, service termination, and service turn-on. DMWW welcomes its new service customers and is proud to deliver water you can trust for life.Labels: customer service, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Polk County Posted in Customer Service, Customers January 10, 2013
Des Moines Water Works is implementing new meter reading technology in our Pleasant Hill service area. Currently, meter readers walk Pleasant Hill neighborhoods and collect reads manually from meter reading devices located on the exterior of your home or business. In January, we will be kicking off a project to install “fixed base radio frequency” for Pleasant Hill customers. This technology eliminates any manual intervention in collecting meter reads and creates a more efficient reading and billing process.
In addition to being more efficient, utilizing this technology will also bring enormous benefits to you. You will be able to access your meter reads online at www.dmww.com and/or set up a consumption alert that will advise you when your consumption has exceeded a set number of gallons specified by you. This will help you detect leaks, running toilets, or a garden hose left running as it occurs, saving you the unwelcome surprise of a high bill. In addition, DMWW will be able to monitor for situations of water running continuously at a property (the sign of a potential leak), allowing us to proactively contact you to make you aware of a possible leak.
The project will begin in January and will continue throughout 2013 in phases. Because we may need access to your meter, you will receive a letter asking you to call Des Moines Water Works to schedule an appointment. We look forward to bringing you more robust technology with features that will help you better manage your water usage.Labels: customer service, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Pleasant Hil Posted in Customer Service, Customers December 27, 2012
When you look at your monthly billing statement from Des Moines Water Works (DMWW), you may notice there are several charges detailed on your statement that aren’t for water. The City of Des Moines and other communities directly served by Des Moines Water Works contract with DMWW to provide billing services for important services those communities provide. Below is a summary of what you may see on your statement:
Water – The current water charges are just that – the amount of water used in the billing period times the water rate. Our meters in most service areas register in cubic feet, which is a little more difficult to “imagine” than gallons. There are about 7.5 gallons in one cubic foot. If you want to know how many gallons you used, multiply your water usage shown near the bottom of your statement (in cubic feet) by 7.5. For example, if your statement shows you used 700 cubic feet, you used about 5,250 gallons of water. In the City of Des Moines, you pay about the same price for 1,000 gallons of water as you do for one gallon of milk! And the water is delivered straight to your tap – you don’t have to run to the store!
Water Availability – Water availability is a flat monthly fee, regardless of the amount of water you use. Water availability covers fixed costs that don’t vary by the amount of water you use – things like reading your meter and generating monthly statement, having customer service available to answer questions, etc.
Sewer – Like the water charge, sewer charges are also based on the amount of water consumed, but using a separate sewer rate. In households, water from your faucets goes down your drain, therefore you are benefiting from the sewer system. This waste water must be treated prior to being placed back in the rivers, and your sewer rate covers the costs to collect, transport and treat your waste water.
Sewer Customer Service Charge – This charge is similar to the water availability charge for water and covers fixed costs related to sewer service.
Solid Waste and Curb It – This is a flat monthly fee for garbage removal and recycling pick up if municipal pick up is provided. These fees are not optional, even if you do not recycle, for example. The fee is based on the number of containers at your property.
Stormwater – Most communities are served by a stormwater system – drains in the street that collect rain water run-off and allow you to navigate safely around town. Everyone shares in paying for this service if your community has a stormwater utility. Because pavement causes run-off, stormwater charges are higher the more pavement you have. Stormwater charges are a flat monthly fee, generally based on the size of your lot, driveway, and buildings.
Rates for these services vary by service area and can be found at http://www.dmww.com/customer-service/rates-service-areas/. If you have any questions about your billing statement, please call (515) 283-8760 between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday to speak with a Customer Service Representative.
Winter weather brings the threat of frozen pipes. If your power goes out due to downed power lines, there is no need to immediately worry. In most cases, a home will retain enough heat for three to five hours. It may get cold; however, as long as the temperature remains above 55 degrees in your home, the pipes should not freeze.
If power is not expected to be restored within five hours, to prevent your pipes from freezing:
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing because the temperature of the water running through it is above freezing.
If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. To safely and effectively thaw frozen water pipes, you must first diagnose where the pipe is frozen.
- Start by turning on every faucet in the house, including the bathtub faucets. This will help you determine the area of the blockage. If the water in the kitchen sink is frozen but the water in the bathroom sink works, then you are probably dealing with an isolated problem.Once you have figured out which faucet contains the frozen line, turn off all other faucets.
- Locate the main water shut-off valve, which could be located in the basement. It is important to shut off the water prior to thawing the pipes as a pipe may already have broken under the extreme pressure caused by the frozen line.
- Now that the water is turned off, you have a few options to thaw the pipe. One is to use towels soaked in hot water. Wrap the frozen pipe with hot, wet towels and pour on additional hot water until the pipe has completely thawed. If the hot towel approach won’t work, a hair dryer or heat gun may be the next solution. Turn on the dryer or heat gun and work up and down the length of the frozen line. Once the water starts to thaw and trickle out of the faucet, if you are sure the blockage hasn’t caused a broken pip, you can turn the main water supply back on. Keep working with the heat source and keep the water faucet turned on until full water pressure is restored.
If every faucet in the house is frozen, you are probably dealing with a frozen main water line that supplies water to the house. Turn on all faucets in the sinks and bathtub and turn off the main water supply. Follow the suggestions above but apply the heat directly to the pipe that enters the house.
Never use a heat source with an open flame, such as a blowtorch or propane heater, to thaw a frozen water line as an open flame in a home can present a serious fire hazard as well as the possibility of exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, excessive heat from a blowtorch applied to a frozen pipe can cause the water inside the pipe to boil and possibly explode.
If your pipes have frozen once, chances are they will freeze again. Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of your water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without cause the pipe to break.
- Wrap outside water pipes or water pipes located under the house or crawl spaces with an insulation material such as newspaper or electric heat tape taking special care to cover all elbow joints, valve bodies, tees and any other fittings.
- If you are going on vacation during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.