Posts Tagged ‘DMWW’

May 5, 2020

Can’t Pay? Let’s Talk.

The availability of safe water supply is critically important to the public health of our community, especially under unprecedented circumstances such as these. Water supports healthcare professionals and many essential businesses during the pandemic. And proper hand-washing is an important step in curbing community spread of COVID-19. 

Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) understands this is a difficult time for many customers. We have worked to offer a customer-focused response that balances sensitivity to our customers’ situations with sustainable utility operations.

In mid-March, DMWW temporarily suspended service termination for delinquent accounts during this public health emergency. Customers will still receive termination notices so they are aware of their delinquent balance, but a message has been added to the bill stating that disconnections have been temporarily suspended. 

It is very important for customers who receive a termination notice and are struggling to pay their bill to call DMWW at (515) 283-8700.  DMWW customer service representatives are experienced in working with customers to discuss available options, like payment arrangements or connecting customers with other resources.

Payment arrangements are a collection assistance program that DMWW offers at all times to eligible customers. It is important that customers honor their commitment to pay or communicate with a customer service representative proactively when they are unable to do so in order to remain eligible for this assistance.

Des Moines Water Works also has limited customer assistance funds, known as Project H2O, for which customers may qualify.  More information about this fund can be found at www.dmww.com/customer-service/project-h20

As the COVID-19 pandemic eases, DMWW will resume terminating service for customers with delinquent, unpaid balances.  Customers with delinquent balances should be aware their service could be terminated when normal operations resume, unless they have called to make arrangements with a customer service representative.  

During this time, please remember Des Moines Water Works’ General Office remains closed to the public. In-home customer service visits and backflow inspection visits are temporarily suspended, unless an emergency.

While walk-in customer service is temporarily suspended, Des Moines Water Works offers a variety of opportunities for your payment and customer service needs:

  • Phone:  Please call (515) 283-8700, and a Customer Service Representative is available to assist you Monday-Friday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. Pay by electronic check (no fee) or credit card ($2.75 convenience fee).
  • Online Account:  Login to online account to pay by recurring credit card, direct pay or electronic check (no fees) or credit card ($2.75 convenience fee).
  • Drop Box:  Place bill stub and payment in the payment drop box located at 2201 George Flagg Parkway.
  • Mail:  Mail bill stub and payment to PO Box 9227, Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9227.
  • Pay Stations:  Customers may make monthly payment at most local HyVee and Wal-Mart stores. The pay station may charge a fee for this service; however, these fees are not collected by Des Moines Water Works.

For more information about Des Moines Water Works’ COVID-19 repsonse, visit: http://www.dsmh2o.com/des-moines-water-works-response-to-covid-19/

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in About Us, Customer Service, Uncategorized April 13, 2020

Des Moines Water Works’ Response to COVID-19

 

The water we deliver to your tap is safe to drink.

Des Moines Water Works’ multiple-barrier approach and traditional disinfection methods used to meet state and federal drinking water regulations require treatment to remove or kill pathogens, including viruses. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water.

On any given day, Des Moines Water Works’ state certified laboratory conducts 50 to 60 tests on our various source waters and another 150 to 200 tests to ensure the highest quality of water is produced.

The laboratory doesn’t just test for federally regulated contaminants, we also take great pride in monitoring and testing for emerging and unregulated threats so that we can stay ahead of potential health risks.

Des Moines Water Works has plans in place to handle variety of emergency situations and pandemics.

Des Moines Water Works was one of the first water utilities in America to begin sequestering critical staff at its water treatment plant as part of our response plan to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan was created by staff over 10 years ago for situations just like we are experiencing today.

Beginning in late March, Des Moines Water Works sequestered employees at each of our three water treatment plants for two weeks at time.  The critical staff includes operations, maintenance, repair, controls, supervision, and regulatory compliance employees to ensure a continuous supply of safe and reliable water to serve Central Iowa during these unprecedented circumstances.

During this time, please remember the following:

  • Our General Office remains closed to the public.
  • In-home customer service visits and backflow inspection visits are temporarily suspended, unless an emergency.
  • Please log-in to your online customer account at www.dmww.com or contact a Customer Service Representative at (515) 283-8700 to assist you with payment.
  • And because proper sanitation is important to curb community spread of the virus, Des Moines Water Works will temporarily suspend service termination for delinquent accounts.
  • While the General Office is closed, customers can continue to make payments. Customers can contact us to make a pay arrangement so their water is not terminated immediately when the suspension is lifted.

Des Moines Water Works field crews will continue maintaining and repairing the infrastructure that supports the water system, including responding to main breaks and planned improvement projects.

Water you can trust for life. It’s not just our motto, it’s our mission that guides everything we do when it comes to providing over 500,000 Central Iowans safe, affordable and abundant drinking water straight to their tap.

So have a glass water. Wash your hands. Stay home. Thank an essential worker. We’re all in this together. And together, we are #DSMStrong.

Many in the community have asked how to express appreciation for our Water Workers. Take a moment to write or draw your #ThankAWaterWorker.

You can scan or take a picture of your note and e-mail to [email protected] or mail to 2201 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines 50321.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in About Us, Value of Water October 25, 2019

Des Moines Water Works: Celebrating 100 Years and Planning for the Next 100 Years

The first meeting of the independent Board of Water Works Trustees of the City of Des Moines was held on November 13, 1919.  For 100 years, Des Moines Water Works has been an independently-operated public utility with a commitment to leading, advocating and investing in Central Iowa by providing safe, affordable and abundant drinking water.

To celebrate 100 years of serving Central Iowa and planning for the next 100 years, Des Moines Water Works is hosting two public open houses and treatment plant tours for customers to get a “behind the scenes” look at the treatment process at the historic Fleur Drive Treatment Plant that produces and delivers water 24 hours, 365 days a year.

The public is invited to follow along on the treatment process from “River to Tap” on Saturday, November 2. Two times are available for the open houses and treatment plant tours:

  • 9:30-11:30 am
  • 12:30-2:30 pm

Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Pre-register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/des-moines-water-works-100-year-anniversary-open-house-and-treatment-plant-tour-tickets-77542109537.

“From the very beginning, Des Moines Water Works’ mission was to protect public health by providing safe and affordable drinking water,” said Ted Corrigan, Interim CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works.  “From expanding the distribution system for fire protection in the early 1900s to meeting the drinking water needs of 500,000 central Iowans and the region’s thriving economy, Des Moines Water Works’ mission remains the same as it was 100 years ago and will guide us in meeting water needs for the next generation.”

A few highlights of Des Moines Water Works 100-year history include (but not limited to):

  • Expanded treatment technologies to meet the growing Central Iowa community and vast water quality concerns;
  • Built two additional treatment plants for added water supply and redundancy after the historic Flood of 1993;
  • Worked with neighboring communities to meet their customer needs – including the first suburban customer of Urbandale in 1934;
  • Continued investment and advocacy for source water protection in Iowa – including two 1,500-acre public parks – to protect drinking water sources.

View Des Moines Water Works History 1871-1919

View Des Moines Water Works History 1920-1950

For a complete Des Moines Water Works history, visit http://www.dmww.com/about-us/history/

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in About Us, Board of Trustees July 17, 2019

2019 Citizen Water Academy

Des Moines Water Works has successfully supplied safe, abundant and affordable drinking water to central Iowans for 100 years; however, the associated planning, production, distribution, monitoring, and challenges presented by deteriorating source water are not common knowledge among most citizens. Des Moines Water Works is hosting the third annual Citizen Water Academy – a free, four-session crash course about the history, use and management of water in the central Iowa region. 

The Citizen Water Academy is designed to help community members learn and appreciate our most important natural resource – the water we depend on for life. Selected participants will receive 16 hours of instruction, tour multiple treatment plants operated by Des Moines Water Works, listen to presentations from soil, water and environmental professionals, and interact with Des Moines Water Works staff over the four sessions of this program. It is the goal that participants not only come away from the Academy with a better understanding of their local water utility, but are also equipped to help lead the conversation on important water issues now and in the future.

“You covered a lot of information in a short amount of time. 
I’m impressed with the program.”

– Katie Rock, Polk Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner; Citizen Water Academy 2018 graduate

The previous Water Academy cohorts included participants from all backgrounds – Des Moines Water Works customers, Des Moines area city councilmembers and staff, county supervisors, young professionals, writers, teachers, and more.  For more information and to apply to be a part of the 2019 Citizen Water Academy class, visit www.CitizenWaterAcademy.com.

“Excellent speakers with quality information. This will help me be a much better citizen and advocate.”

 – Patricia Prijatel, Drake Professor Emerita and health writer; Citizen Water Academy 2018 graduate

Candidates must commit to attending all four sessions:

Session 1: Thursday, October 24, 1:00-5:15 pm

Session 2: Thursday, October 31, 1:00-5:30 pm

Session 3: Wednesday, November 6, 1:00-5:00 pm​

Session 4 and Graduation: Wednesday, November 13, 1:00-5:00 pm

The deadline to apply is September 20, 2019. Des Moines Water Works staff will review all applications, give consideration to ensure the class composition is diverse and regionally balanced, and select no more than 24 candidates.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in About Us, Customers, Value of Water July 11, 2019

Des Moines Water Works Locally and Nationally Recognized for Energy Management

Des Moines Water Works has been locally and nationally recognized for energy management, energy programs and energy training. Energy costs are a significant portion of the utility’s operational budget, so implementing an energy management program is critical.

U.S. Department of Energy Recognition
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Plants partner Des Moines Water Works for their efforts to drive organizational/cultural changes that enhance the partner’s ability to improve energy performance, including installing electric submeters and energy monitors to provide staff with real-time energy data for three water treatment plants and saving $185,000 a year in energy costs.  As part of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative, Better Plants works with leading manufacturers and water and wastewater treatment agencies to boost their competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency.

The annual Better Practice Awards are bestowed upon select partners for outstanding accomplishments in implementing and promoting the practices, principles, and procedures of energy management in industry. Des Moines Water Works was formally recognized at the Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit in Arlington, Virginia, on July 10, in part due to the 60 electric submeters the utility installed to measure energy data. The data is displayed on three dedicated energy monitor screens providing Des Moines Water Works operators with information they need to operate the treatment plants efficiently.

Water treatment facilities across America increasingly face aging infrastructures and rising costs.  According to the Electric Power Research Institute, U.S. water and wastewater treatment and distribution systems purchase nearly 70 billion kWh annually (about 1.8 percent of U.S. electricity consumption).  Low-cost operational changes enabled by an energy management system can sustainably reduce operating costs to enable reinvestment in infrastructure or control rates.

As part of the broader Better Buildings Initiative, Better Plants partners voluntarily set a long-term goal, typically to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent over a 10-year period across all their U.S. operations. DOE supports these efforts with technical expertise and national recognition.

“Better Plants partners such as Des Moines Water Works are implementing innovative energy efficiency solutions in the industrial space that are cutting costs and energy-use and the Better Practice Awards honor their leadership,” said Valri Lightner, DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office Acting Director.

City of Des Moines Recognition

Des Moines Water Works was awarded Energize Des Moines’ 2018 Award for Best Practices in Energy Efficiency and Employee Training.  The award was presented to Des Moines Water Works at the May 20, 2019, City Council Meeting.

Energize Des Moines is a program to reduce energy use (electric, gas, and water) in Des Moines’ largest buildings (above 25,000 square feet). The program is part of the City Energy Project initiative to create healthier and more prosperous American cities by improving the energy efficiency of buildings. In most large American cities, buildings account for most of the energy use and carbon pollution. In Des Moines, it is 35-40%.

Des Moines Water Works added Energize Des Moines to its Energy Management System in the summer of 2017. As part of the program, Des Moines Water Works agreed to upload energy and water consumption data for the utility’s administration building to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, an online tool used to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. It is used to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings against similar buildings across the nation. In February 2018, Des Moines Water Works’ administration building became an ENERGY STAR Certified Building, outperforming 82% of similar buildings nationwide.

Using 2016 as the baseline, Des Moines Water Works improved its energy intensity by 8.58% during 2017-2018. Energy intensity is normalized using water production and weather data. The improvement saved Des Moines Water Works $615,000 in direct energy cost savings and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 2856 metric tons.

Des Moines Water Works’ Energy Management Initiatives Background

In 2018, Des Moines Water Works became the first U.S. water treatment utility to certify a water treatment plant to the ISO 50001 standard and Superior Energy Performance® (SEP) program.  The SEP program has long helped industrial and commercial organizations establish energy management systems that meet the widely respected ISO 50001 standard and achieve verified energy and cost savings.  As the first certified facility in the water sector, Des Moines Water Works’ Fleur Drive Water Treatment Plant has paved the way for similar facilities nationwide to increase efficiency, cut costs, and demonstrate responsible management of resources.

“Des Moines Water Works has taken pro-active steps in good stewardship of energy and ratepayer dollars by implementing a comprehensive energy conservation and management program,” said Ted Corrigan, Des Moines Water Works Interim CEO and General Manager.  “This culture of managing energy will help the Des Moines Water Works expand its energy and cost savings to benefit the environment and our water customers.  Des Moines Water Works is a leader in stewardship of natural resources, improving energy performance, and reducing carbon emissions.”

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Environment, Public Policy July 10, 2019

Summer Irrigation Odd-Even Watering Schedule

Landscape irrigation makes up a large portion of water consumption, particularly during the warmer months of the year. There are many sophisticated automated, in-ground lawn sprinkler systems in use today; however, these systems require regular maintenance to operate efficiently. Even the most properly maintained system can be operated unwisely. 

Des Moines Water Works encourages central Iowa businesses and homeowners to Use Water Wisely, a recommended program aimed at smart summer irrigation. By improving the efficiency of irrigation practices, businesses and homeowners can reduce consumption, save money, and reduce the peak load on water facilities.

Recommended Schedule

The recommended outdoor irrigation schedule applies to all spray irrigation systems for businesses and homes:

  • Watering is not recommended on Mondays.
  • Even-numbered addresses are encouraged to water on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm.
  • Odd-numbered addresses are encouraged to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm.
  • Watering is not recommended during the hottest part of the days hours of 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Examples

My home address is: 5018 1st Street. Recommended irrigation schedule: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm.

My business address is: 1355 Main Street. Recommended irrigation schedule: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm.

In addition, it is important to:

  • Test irrigation systems each spring to ensure there are no leaking sprinkler heads and that each head is properly directing its spray onto the turf and landscape.
  • For in-ground irrigation systems, install a moisture sensor that will turn off the irrigation system during its normal run cycle when there has been sufficient rainfall.
  • When possible, avoid laying sod or grass seed during the month of July and the first three weeks of August. These typically are the hottest months of the year.  New sod has no established root system and therefore requires daily watering during hot summer days to keep it alive.  Grass seed is also best used during the fall.
  • Consult your preferred garden center, lawn or landscape professional for tips and consultation for your specific lawn and landscape care and watering needs.

For more information, visit: www.dmww.com/education/using-water-wisely.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone 2 Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Conservation, Customers January 18, 2019

Fire Hydrant Access

Des Moines Water Works collaborates with city fire departments to properly maintain nearly 10,000 fire hydrants in the Des Moines Water Works distribution system. You can help your local fire department and Des Moines Water Works by following these simple tips to keep fire hydrants working  properly and accessible when they are needed:

  • During winter months, shovel snow away from fire hydrants.
  • Do not paint fire hydrants – the color of the fire hydrant is indicative of water flow available for fire protection.
  • Keep cars, bikes, toys and other objects away from fire hydrants at all times.
  • Mow and trim grass or weeds around fire hydrants near your property.
  • Do not plant flowers or shrubs around fire hydrants.

If you notice a damaged fire hydrant or witness suspicious activity near a fire hydrant, please call Des Moines Water Works at (515) 283-8700.  Your call is important to the fire protection of your home, business and others around you.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Customer Service, Customers, Infrastructure October 9, 2018

Imagine a Day Without Water

It can be easy to forget that some issues we all care about cut across geographic and political lines. Citizens may have different opinions on a variety of issues, but when it comes to our daily lives, they have a lot in common. They get up in the morning, brush their teeth, use the bathroom, and make coffee. They shower, do their laundry, and wash the dishes. Hospitals provide lifesaving services. Firefighters put out fires. But none of that would be possible without safe and reliable water.

A day without water is threatens our health, safety, and economy. That’s why Des Moines Water Works is joining with hundreds of groups across the country for Imagine a Day Without Water, a national day of action to raise awareness about the value of water.

If you’ve never experienced it before, it may be hard to imagine a day without water. But for some communities in Iowa (Creston and Greenfield) and across America (Flint, MI and Toledo, OH), they already know.

The vast majority of Americans, across parties and regions, want the federal government to invest in our water infrastructure. Investment in water infrastructure has not been a federal priority for decades, leaving it to local water utilities and people who pay water bills to make up the difference. While the U.S. government is currently funding $82 billion less than what is needed to maintain our water infrastructure, Des Moines Water Works proactively invests in the water system with water main replacement and other infrastructure improvements.

On Imagine a Day Without Water, Des Moines Water Works is kicking off the second annual Citizen Water Academy, with 24 participants from across central Iowa seeking to learn more about our most important resource: the water we depend on for life. Though Des Moines Water Works has successfully supplied safe, abundant and affordable drinking water to central Iowans for almost 100 years, the associated planning, production, distribution, monitoring and challenges are not common knowledge among most citizens. It is our hope that the Citizen Water Academy graduates not only come away from the Water Academy with a better understanding of their local water utility, but are also equipped to help lead the discussion on important water issues now and in the future.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Value of Water October 2, 2018

Water Works Park Improvements

Construction of the first phase of Des Moines Water Works Park improvements is underway. The improvements include a two-way amphitheater, great lawn, celebration lawn, restrooms, a marketplace, natural play areas and outdoor classrooms, pathways, and parking. Improvements are expected to be completed by May 2019. The area will provide a platform for park users to engage in educational, recreational, and cultural activities. A passageway under Fleur Drive to safely connect Water Works Park to Gray’s Lake Park is planned for 2019.

 

In the coming months, park users can also expect a dedication of “The Wild,” a celebration of the over 1,400 acres of Water Works Park that will remain largely untouched. These areas will be enhanced with signage and virtual information tools that allow for more self-discovery and understanding the role Des Moines Water Works Park plays in both clean water production and the many ecosystems contained within.

The Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation has privately raised funds for the park improvements and do not come from Des Moines Water Works ratepayers. For more information on the planned Des Moines Water Works Park improvements, visit: www.dmwwpf.org/future-plans.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park September 19, 2018

Critical Infrastructure Upgrades Since 1993

Water is one of the most useful things on Earth and also one the most powerful. As the Des Moines metro area prepared to celebrate 25 years of progress from the historic Flood of 1993, residents once again witnessed firsthand the devastating force of nature during the flash flooding of late June 2018, with pockets of the metro area receiving 6 to 10 inches in a matter of hours. Tributaries of the Raccoon River and Des Moines River reached record or near-record levels. The localized flash flooding caused significant damage to many homes and businesses.

After monitoring river projections through the late evening, Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) staff began flood preparations for the Fleur Drive Treatment Plant in the early morning hours of July 1. While the Raccoon River at Fleur Drive did not reach record stages like the Flood ’93, the physical and informational changes made since 1993 have been tested numerous times:

  • Levees surrounding the Fleur Drive Treatment Plant were built up an additional 6 feet.
  • Flood gates were installed around Fleur Drive Treatment Plant and George Flagg Parkway General Office.
  • Stormwater upgrades inside Fleur Drive Treatment Plant were made to protect against internal flooding during heaving rains.
  • Access to the Fleur Drive Treatment Plant during a flood event were improved with the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway interchange construction.
  • Critical support functions at the General Office were relocated to ensure access of important data.
  • Two additional water treatment plants – L.D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant at Maffitt Reservoir and Saylorville Water Treatment Plant – were built to create redundancy in our water treatment capabilities.
  • Three Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells were also constructed to provide redundancy.
  • Real-time river data from United States Geological Survey, National Weather Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were made available. The availability to this important data is invaluable to staff for emergency planning and preparation.

(photo of Fleur Drive Treatment Plant flood gates during 2008 flood)

With these critical infrastructure upgrades, Des Moines Water Works is able to remain committed to providing safe, affordable and abundant water service, even in times of crisis.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in About Us, Flooding, Infrastructure