Archive for the ‘Customers’ CategoryMay 13, 2013
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.
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 March 5, 2013
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 January 15, 2013
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.
The holidays are busy, but that’s no reason to put extra stress on your septic system. Sending cooking grease, paper towels and coffee grounds down the drain can be a harmful holiday present for our sewer infrastructure, and for your plumbing at home as well. These simple steps can help put grease in its proper place:
- Collect cooled cooking oil, poultry and meat fats in sealed containers and discard with your regular garbage.
- Dishes and pots coated with greasy leftovers should be wiped or scraped clean into the trash can prior to washing or placing in the dishwasher. Scrape, don’t rinse!
- Place fat trimmings from meat in a plastic bag and discard them with your trash, rather than dumping down the garbage disposal.
- Never pour grease down the drain – place cooled grease and oils in a sealed container and dispose of it with your garbage.
- Other materials that cause trouble in sewer lines include ‘flushable wipes,’ kitty litter, plastic/cardboard feminine hygiene applicators, disposable diapers, prophylactics and personal care products, and cigarette butts.
For more information on Des Moines metro area’s wastewater operations, visit Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority.
More holiday tips:Labels: Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Holiday tip, Proper disposal of grease, WRA Posted in Customer Service, Customers, Environment December 19, 2012
Washing dishes by hand is a chore most people dislike, especially when the dishes pile up after a delicious holiday meal. The good news is washing dishes in a dishwasher is more economical, saves energy, saves water and saves time.
Even older models of dishwashers use less water (15 gallons) than the average American who washes dishes by hand (20 gallons). Since 2009, Energy Star models have proven to be even greater water savers, using only about 6 gallons of water. Hand-washing costs about $430 more in energy and water than an Energy Star dishwasher per year. Using a dishwasher rather than hand-washing can save about 5,000 gallons of water per year.
Dishwashers can easily achieve the recommended level of 140 degrees or higher for proper disinfection, whereas hand-washing cannot. And since our time is so precious around the holidays – dishwashers save over 230 hours a year – that’s almost 10 days!
If you want to save even more in energy costs, open the door and let dishes air dry during the drying cycle. Use water wisely with your dishwasher by making sure it is full before you run it.
More holiday tips:
Question: Am I better off feeding my leftover mashed potatoes into the garbage disposal, so they don’t end up in a landfill or should I throw them in the trash can, so they don’t end up the water supply?
Royce Hammitt, Operations & Maintenance Manager at Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority, explains options for disposal of your leftover holiday feast, from best for the environment to the worst.
Prevent food waste before it is created.
Donate fresh, wholesome food to those in need.
Feed safe, fresh food scraps to animals.
Turn food waste into a valuable soil amendment utilizing a backyard composter.
Sewer Disposal vs. Landfill
Food waste contains fats, oil, and grease which can coat and block sewers leading to sewer overflows. Sending food waste to landfills may produce methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas which can escape to the atmosphere. Fortunately, Metro Waste Authority captures methane and utilizes it to produce green electricity.
More holiday tips: