Archive for the ‘Saylorville Water Treatment Plant’ Category

May 22, 2017

2017 Utility Goals

Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) staff has identified areas of focus for the utility in the coming year, each of which is believed to move the utility in the direction of greater efficiency, better security and planning, or improved employee health.  Quarterly updates will be reported to the Board of Water Works Trustees and published on www.dmww.com.

  1. Customer:  Develop a plan to implement a new billing and customer information system that offers enhanced customer service offerings. Begin implementation in 2017, expected to conclude in 2018.
  2. Technology:  Ensure the security of electronic payments made by customers by implementing Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant payment solutions by June 30, 2017. These changes may include changes to fees and transaction
    limits that will be communicated in advance to customers.
  3. Financial:  Contract an outside consultant to review DMWW’s approach to determining costs by service area (known as the Cost of Service study, which is the basis for rate making decisions), evaluate recommended changes, and develop a plan for implementing adopted changes.
  4. Employee:  Reduce employee OSHA recordable injuries to no more than 9, which is 75% of the industry average.
  5. Planning:  Complete long range planning and update the utility’s 5-year capital improvement plan to ensure a reliable, abundant, and affordable water supply to the metro area through 2040.
  6. Operations:  Optimize operations at DMWW’s newest plant, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant, by designing and installing additional Reverse Osmosis (RO) membranes.
Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , Posted in About Us, Board of Trustees, Customer Service, Customers, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant February 1, 2013

Drought Preparations

Raccoon River droughtWith 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:

  1. Water quality release – this release ensures that there is enough water to support the wildlife habitat in and along the river.
  2. 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.

Posted by: Mike McCurnin No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Conservation, Customer Service, Maffitt Reservoir, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant, Water Treatment June 18, 2012

Founding Fathers’ Foresight

As long as Des Moines Water Works has been in existence, protecting the water resources from pollution and assuring an adequate supply of water well into the future has been utmost importance.  Thanks to the utility’s founding fathers – not to mention employees throughout the years – the growth of Des Moines Water Works has kept pace with the expanding needs of the community.

In 1884, the company began constructing an infiltration gallery system that would use groundwater from the Raccoon River.  The infiltration gallery was the only water source at the time.

By 1919, the water supply grounds covered approximately 470 acres.

In 1925, when the Board of Water Works Trustees purchased 334 acres of land south of the Raccoon River, west of S.W. 30th Street, General Manager Charles Denman stated that the newly acquired land  would insure a potential water supply large enough for a city twice the size of Des Moines.

Gradually, additional land (now known as Water Works Park) bordering the Raccoon River on both sides, extending to 63rd Street (city limits) was purchased to protect the source water and to extend the infiltration gallery.

In April of 1933, Water Works Park was opened to the public.  At that time, the water supply grounds covered 1,400 acres.  (Today, it spans 1,500 acres.)

Foreseeing a need for an emergency source of water, construction of a water storage reservoir near the Raccoon River southwest of Commerce began in 1943 (Maffitt Reservoir).  Dale Maffitt, General Manager, was quoted in the Des Moines Tribune as saying it will insure an adequate water supply for Des Moines for many years to come.

Obviously, planning for the future didn’t end in the 1940s.  Within the last 12 years, two additional water treatment facilities have been constructed.  The L. D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant at Maffitt Reservoir began operation in 2000.  Today, this water plant serves customers in southwest Des Moines, parts of Xenia and Warren Water Systems, Waukee and parts of Clive, Urbandale and West Des Moines.  The Saylorville Water Treatment Plant went online in 2011 serving customers north of Des Moines.  Long-range plans have been developed, future demand has been projected, and staff continues to prepare for the future, assuring there will be an adequate supply of water.

Posted by: Pat Ripley No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in About Us, History, Infrastructure, Maffitt Reservoir, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant, Source Water, Water Quality January 17, 2012

Year in Review

From starting up our third treatment plant to educating more than 27,000 children and adults, here’s a look at the top 25 accomplishments in 2011 at Des Moines Water Works.

  1. Commissioned DMWW’s third water treatment facility, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant
  2. Responded to 300 main breaks
  3. Assisted 56,000 customers in the office and visited 42,000 customers in the field
  4. Launched Parkitecture competition for the redesign of Water Works Park
  5. Repaved roads in Water Works Park
  6. Hosted several events at Water Works Park, including HyVee Fishing Derby, Big Country Bash, weddings, charity walks, Des Moines Marathon and Jolly Holiday Lights
  7. Planted approximately 70,000 plants and flowers in Water Works Park and Fleur Drive medians
  8. Found $611,000 in process efficiencies throughout the utility
  9. Reaffirmed  our strong Aa1 bond rating by Moody’s, second from highest attainable
  10. Redesigned new website with enhanced customer features, like consumption alerts
  11. Implemented electronic checks as a new customer payment option
  12. Awarded “Public Policy Champion of the Year” from Iowa Ducks Unlimited
  13. Implemented new Geographical Information System (GIS):  DMWW’s water distribution staff is now using new GIS software that allows access of important information about the distribution system while working in the field.
  14. Established Enterprise Asset Management software:  Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) at its most basic level is a work order system.  But as an asset management software, EAM is a lot more than that.  Asset management goes beyond creating work orders and includes planning and scheduling projects, tracking assets’ conditions, and forecasting asset replacement. 
  15. Ended use of gaseous chlorine at all facilities:  All water disinfection throughout the utility (three plants and six remote locations) is now being done with liquid hypochlorite.  This effort brings a safer environment for our employees and community.
  16. Reported our greenhouse gas emissions to The Climate Registry
  17. Contributed $19,286.28 to the United Way of Central Iowa through employee donations – a record year!
  18. Reduced employees’ metabolic syndrome risk factors by 18% from 2010 to 2011
  19. Awarded two safety recognition awards
  20. Received a Proclamation from Mayor Cownie during Drinking Water Week, recognizing DMWW’s contributions to the community
  21. Assisted DMACC with a new water/waste water curriculum
  22. Received a book and dedication from Ankeny first graders illustrating the importance of clean rivers
  23. Celebrated the importance of water with over 2,000 Iowa 5th grade students at the Iowa Children’s Water Festival
  24. Reached 27,800 people through classroom presentations, tours and special events conducted by the Urban Environmental Partnership.
  25. Hosted 237 meetings/social events and 53 weddings at the Des Moines Botanical Center, including 10 weddings on 11/11/11! The Botanical Center also welcomed 255 tour groups for a total of 9,560 people
Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , , Posted in About Us, Botanical Center, Customer Service, Des Moines Botanical Center, Des Moines Water Works Park, Education, Employees, Environment, Parks, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant May 4, 2011

Des Moines Water Works’ Third Treatment Plant is Operational

      In celebration of National Drinking Water Week, on May 3 the Des Moines Water Works Board of Trustees and staff hosted Des Moines and metro area community leaders at an official start-up of the new water treatment facility located on NW 26th Street.  

      DMWW’s third treatment plant was commissioned in response to the growing water demand in the northern portion of the Des Moines metropolitan area.  The treatment process at the new facility utilizes membrane technology to soften and purify the finished water.  This is DMWW’s first membrane treatment plant and the largest such facility in Iowa.  The plant will have an initial capacity of 10 million gallons per day (mgd) and can be expanded to 20 mgd.

      DMWW values our partnership with the following communities who have purchased capacity and invested in DMWW’s Core Network, which includes the newly commissioned Saylorville Water Treatment Plant.   

  • Altoona
  • Ankeny
  • Berwick
  • Bondurant
  • Clive
  • Cumming
  • Norwalk
  • Pleasant Hill
  • Polk City
  • Polk County Water District #1
  • Urbandale Water Utility
  • Warren Rural Water
  • Waukee
  • West Des Moines Water Works
  • Xenia Rural Water
Posted by: Laura Sarcone 3 Comments
Labels: , , Posted in Saylorville Water Treatment Plant, Uncategorized, Value of Water, Water Treatment March 1, 2011

Saylorville Water Treatment Plant Update

Des Moines Water Works’ newest treatment plant, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant, is now operational, in manual mode, and pumping finished drinking water into the distribution system.  The oxidation of iron and manganese in the pretreatment basin is working well.  The oxidized iron and manganese are then removed by the ultrafiltration (UF) process.  Part of the UF treated water then goes through the reverse osmosis (RO) process where hardness and other dissolved constituents like nitrate are removed.  The remaining UF treated water is then blended with the RO treated water and the mixed waters flow into the finished water clearwell.  Fluoride is added and chlorine is added for disinfection.  The plant is being operated manually for eight hours each day until all control programming is completed and the plant can be operated from the Control Center at Fleur Drive Treatment Plant.

Posted by: Gary Benjamin 5 Comments
Labels: , , , , , Posted in About Us, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant, Water Treatment October 13, 2010

Des Moines Water Works Saylorville Treatment Plant Update

In response to the growing water demand in the northern portion of the Des Moines metropolitan area, Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) is in the final phase of constructing a new water treatment plant on NW 26th Street, just south of NW 66th Avenue.  The plant is nearing completion and should be in service this fall.

The Saylorville water treatment plant will use technology different than the two current water treatment plants.  The treatment process will include ultra filtration (UF) membranes followed by split treatment through reverse osmosis (RO) membranes.  The first treatment step will be oxidation to precipitate the dissolved iron and manganese in the shallow groundwater.  The water will then go through the UF membranes which will filter out all of the particulate (undissolved) material in the water.

After filtration, part of the water will go through the RO membranes and some of the water will bypass the RO membranes.  The RO membranes have smaller pores than the UF membranes and are able to filter out dissolved material in the water.  The primary removal targets for the RO membranes are hardness (calcium and magnesium ions) and nitrate. 

The ratio of water that is sent through versus around the RO membranes will be set to match the hardness of the water treated at the two existing water treatment plants and to ensure the nitrate concentration in the finished water is below the limit for drinking water.  DMWW is excited to begin utilizing membranes for water treatment to compare with the operation and maintenance of a membrane plant with the two current lime softening plants.

The treatment capacity will be 10 million gallons per day (MGD) and the plant can be expanded in steps to 20 MGD by adding additional UF and RO membrane units.

Check back with us here on the blog for more updates.

Posted by: Gary Benjamin 2 Comments
Labels: , , Posted in Infrastructure, Saylorville Water Treatment Plant, Water Quality, Water Treatment