Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

July 25, 2013

Chilling in Water Works Park

RAGBRAI riders love our water stationsApproximately 10,000-12,000 RAGBRAI riders and their support teams camped overnight in Water Works Park July 23, 2013.  One cyclist was overheard remarking that Water Works Park was “by far the coolest camp” he’d experienced in his 16 years of riding.

While riders and campers enjoyed the nature of the park and the close community it provided, the “hot” commodity was a chilled water station where bicyclists could fill  their reusable water bottles with ice cold tap water.  Recently designed by Des Moines Water Works staff, the water station connects to any water supply and utilizes ice to cool the tap water flowing through a 100’ coil to four bottle filling faucets. Chilled water was extremely popular as the riders are accustomed to drinking lukewarm tap water all day long.

Two additional water stations were strategically positioned in the campground to provide thousands of gallons of water for the campers’ needs.  Riders were extremely appreciative of the plentiful supply of water allowing them to clean up and board a bus to experience the festivities in downtown Des Moines.

Cyclists and their support teams got an early start July 24 and by mid-morning, few traces remained of the epic camp-out the night before.  From all accounts, cyclists enjoyed their stay in Des Moines and the hospitality offered by the entire community.  In return, DMWW thanks RAGBRAI-ers for being great stewards of Water Works Park.  Come back and enjoy!

Posted by: Pat Ripley No Comments
Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park, Uncategorized, Water Quality July 22, 2013

Des Moines Water Works Celebrates Water and Wastewater Workers of Iowa Week

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJuly 21-27, 2013 has been designated as Water and Wastewater Workers of Iowa Week, as proclaimed by Governor Terry Branstad during a ceremony at the State Capitol on July 18, 2013.

The proclamation that was signed by the Governor read:

The State of Iowa’s surface and ground waters are a treasured natural resource; and

The water and wastewater workforce of Iowa have dedicated themselves to applying environmental science to enhance drinking and recreational waters of Iowa; and

Their applied environmental science-based practices continue to be a vital element in improving the quality of life and preserving and protecting public health in our state, and promoting sustainability in our way of living.

All Des Moines Water Works employees provide an important service to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Recognizing a shortage of skilled workers in the industry, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) has created a new associate’s degree in Water Environment Technology to encourage Iowans to get the education and resources needed to become a part of water and wastewater management in the state.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Posted in Uncategorized July 15, 2013

Five Years of Clean Air in Iowa – When can Iowa Celebrate Five Years of Clean Water?

RiverIn 2008, the state passed the Smokefree Air Act which banned smoking in public places. Why? Because it protected public health. State legislators passed this bold legislation because it was best for the people of Iowa.

Reducing nitrate, phosphorus, and bacteria in Iowa’s rivers, streams, and lakes will also protect public health. This year is a record setting year for nitrate levels, with the Raccoon River reaching 24.39 mg/L and Des Moines River 18.62 mg/L. If nitrate levels in our source water persist at levels such that DMWW is unable to produce finished drinking water below 10 mg/L, Des Moines Water Works will violate the drinking water standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency. This standard is set to protect our most vulnerable population, infants under 6 months of age.

Opponents criticized the Smokefree Air Act as a government intrusion into personal choice and free enterprise that would force businesses to close due to a reduction in business. Agricultural interests are using similar arguments. The agricultural community insists government cannot tell them what to do on their own land, and argues that if agriculture is regulated, it will force the livestock industry and row-crop production out of the country. No one is allowed to use the state’s water resources to the point that they impair water use by others. All Iowans are accountable and responsible for improving and protecting Iowa’s water resources and ultimately public health. Iowa Code, 455B.262 (3) states, “Water occurring in a basin or watercourse …is public water and public wealth of the people of the state … the control and development and use of water for all beneficial purposes is vested in the state, which shall take measures to ensure the conservation and protection of the water resources of the state.” Iowa needs strong leadership on this important issue.  Where are the voices of state officials who will take bold steps to ensure Iowa’s water resources benefit all Iowans?

Protecting the health of Iowans is not a partisan issue. Agriculture should not be exempted from all regulation, especially when conditions created by the industry negatively impact the general population. Balancing freedom in farming decisions and water quality is a critical issue in Iowa. Des Moines Water Works wants to work with state leaders to ensure the economics, social, and environmental effects of farming are balanced for future generations.

Posted by: Linda Kinman No Comments
Posted in Uncategorized July 10, 2013

Remembering the Flood of 1993

flood of 1993 aerial view 2Twenty years ago – at 3:02 a.m. on July 11, 1993 – Des Moines Water Works shut down operations after the water treatment plant and general office were inundated with flood water.

It all began July 8, when 8-10 inches of rain fell in the upper Raccoon River watershed.  On July 9, the levee was closed.  At 1:00 a.m. on July 11, water started coming over the levee.  The Raccoon River crested at the historic level of 26.75 feet, 1.75 feet higher than the levee.

The dewatering process began along with restoration of the high voltage and high service pumps, chemical feeds, and refilling the distribution system.  The National Guard air-lifted equipment in and out of the treatment plant.  Staff worked round-the-clock.  The general office was re-located.  Seven days later, DMWW began pumping potable water from the Fleur Drive plant.  Customers could use the water for sanitary use on Day 12, and the water was safe to drink on Day 19.

The levee around the water treatment plant was heightened by 6 feet.  Permanent flood gates have been installed.  A second treatment plant, the L.D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant at Maffitt Reservoir, began operation in 2000.  A third treatment plant, the Saylorville Water Treatment Plant, went online in 2011.

DMWW was forever changed by the Flood of 1993.  The product we produce daily became even more important, and our commitment to quality and service became even stronger.  The dedicated employees, tireless volunteers, and the utility’s commitment to the community allowed us to quickly recover, restore service and rebuild to bring the community safe, reliable, high quality water now and in the future.

Posted by: Pat Ripley No Comments
Labels: , Posted in Flooding, History, Uncategorized June 22, 2011

The Botanical Center’s Outdoor Gardens

Have you visited the Des Moines Botanical and Environmental Center lately?  This is the perfect time to enjoy all of the outdoor gardens at the Center.  

Approximately 13,000 annuals were recently planted on the grounds, and many enhancements have been made. 

The perennial gardens that were planted along the entrance sidewalks are in their second year and are looking spectacular.  The last two year’s weather has really pushed these plants to mature size and bloom levels.

A popular spot for weddings, the gazebo has been adorned with a couple new flowerbeds.  Last year a large donated collection of Bearded Iris, Siberian Iris, Daylily, and Asiatic Lilies was added, and that area has been full of color since March and should continue until frost.  Numerous varieties of annuals were planted in the area in front of the gazebo, formally known as the herb garden, to add more color.  The new and improved herb garden was moved to the east side of the building and replanted by the Des Moines Herb Society.

Finally, the Buck Rose collection has been expanded and now contains 80+ varieties, making the Botanical Center the site of one of the largest collections of these roses in the nation.  (The late Dr. Griffith Buck developed the hardy, fragrant roses at Iowa State University.)

We’re sure you’ll enjoy your next trip to the Botanical Center.  While you’re there, be sure to check out the Gift Shop and the Riverwalk Cafe.

Posted by: Todd Monson No Comments
Labels: , , Posted in Botanical Center, Uncategorized May 24, 2011

First Graders Dedicate Book to DMWW

A first grade class from Ankeny recently dedicated a book, The “Fishy” Problem, to Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) with this inscription: “Thank you for keeping our water clean and healthy!”

Written and illustrated by Mrs. Reha’s students at East Elementary School, the story begins with “Once upon a time, there were very healthy animals in a nice clean river.”  As the story unfolds, some of the fish get sick from trash and pollutants in the river, so they swim to the surface and pretend to be dead, in the hopes that someone will notice and take corrective action.  “A Water Works person was testing water from the river when he saw the fish floating. He wondered how the fish died.”  The problem was investigated and the story concludes after the pollution and trash has been removed, and the animals once again happily enjoy the clean river, their home.

Bobbi Young, a Customer Service employee and member of DMWW’s Education and Green Teams, attended the first graders’ book dedication ceremony on May 20, 2011, and accepted a copy of the book, which was autographed by the students.

For many years DMWW has focused on educating children, its future consumers.  Eleven years ago the water utility joined with Metro Waste Authority, City of Des Moines Storm Water Utility, and Wastewater Reclamation Authority to form the Urban Environmental Partnership.  The partnership is committed to educating the public and employees about water treatment, watershedprotection, and pollution prevention in the urban environment.  Sixteen environmental education programs are offered for pre-K through 8th grade students.

For more information about water education, check our website, www.dmww.com, and click on “Water Education” or contact our Education Specialist at (515) 283-8753 or education@dmww.com.

Posted by: Pat Ripley 1 Comment
Labels: , , Posted in Education, Uncategorized May 10, 2011

Spring Gardening Tips from DMWW’s Gardeners

May is a wonderful time for spring gardening.  There are numerous activities that can be done around the yard.

  • Take a tour of your garden to see which plants have survived over the winter months.  Replacement plants may be needed for those that did not survive.
  • Divide perennials that are becoming overgrown from the previous year.  Daylilies, hostas and perennial grasses are a few that grow very aggressively. 
  • Prune back spent blooms on any bulbs including daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, etc.  As the plant’s foliage begins to yellow and brown, it can be cut off and removed from the plant.
  • Add a layer of 2-4” of mulch in perennial beds, around shrubs, and trees.  A thick layer of mulch protects the plant by keeping the roots cool, blocking weeds, and keeping moisture around the plant. 
  • Make sure to take time for plant shopping this month.  Greenhouses are loaded with beautiful annuals and perennials.  Don’t forget to wait until the frost free date of May 10 for planting most annuals. 
  • Containers and pots can be designed with various combinations of annuals and perennials.
  • Till the vegetable garden plots and begin planting summer crops including tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc.  after May 10 as well.
  • And lastly, WEED, WEED, WEED!  Get an early start on weeding.  Weeds are growing just as quickly as the flowers in your garden. 
Posted by: Dawn Goodrich 1 Comment
Labels: , , , Posted in Des Moines Botanical Center, Des Moines Water Works Park, Uncategorized 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