Des Moines Water Works has utilized aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) wells as sources of water since 2008. These wells are installed deep into the Jordan Aquifer and are used to store treated water that is needed when water demand is high. When water demand is low, mainly during winter months, treated water is injected into the wells which displaces the native Jordan water around the wells. A total of 270 million gallons can be stored in an ASR well during the winter months when Des Moines Water Works has excess water treatment capacity. In summer months, during higher water demand, the drinking water is pumped out of the ASR well and into the water distribution system for use by customers. The wells pump for a total of 90 days to recover the 270 million gallons put into the wells. ASR wells can be constructed for about one-third the cost of adding capacity to an existing water treatment plant. Des Moines Water Works currently operates two ASR wells, and plans for a third are underway.
West Des Moines Water Works, a wholesale customer of Des Moines Water Works, desires to purchase additional water from Des Moines Water Works in order to meet the needs of a large-demand customer, Microsoft Corporation, who is developing a facility in the southeast portion of West Des Moines Water Works’ service area. In order to meet the water demand requirements of Microsoft, West Des Moines Water Works, City of West Des Moines and Des Moines Water Works have agreed to a joint project to construct a 3.0 million gallon per day (mgd) ASR well. The City of West Des Moines will pay the estimated $3,591,132 construction cost of the ASR well. Des Moines Water Works will contribute a 5.28 acre parcel of land it already owns. Des Moines Water Works will be responsible for the design of the new Army Post Road ASR facility and will administer and oversee its construction. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. Des Moines Water Works will own the ASR upon completion, will have full operational control of the constructed assets, and will retain the right to use the ASR to serve customers, including but not limited to Microsoft.