Posts Tagged ‘infrastructure’

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 March 30, 2011

A Breakdown of Capital Improvements

Water Utilities are in a high infrastructure intensive industry.  Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) maintains over 1,360 miles of buried water mains which have 9,800 valves and 8,900 fire hydrants.  We have over 80,000 water meters and automated reading devices serving our customers.  We soon will be adding a third water treatment plant that adds capacity and reliability in water delivery to our customers.  Each of these treatment plants have multiple mechanical, electrical, and controls systems that require a high degree of maintenance to insure these systems work at peak efficiency to allow us to produce the highest level of quality water at the least possible cost. 

The Board of Water Works Trustees have recognized the utility can most cost effectively maintain our infrastructure assets by generating the necessary capital through water rate revenue.  This allows us to pay for the maintenance and replacements on “pay as you go basis.”  The 2011 utility budget included an upcoming rate increase will allow a limited operating budget growth to 4.4% which will produce an estimated $12.8 million for new capital improvement projects after debt service obligations are met.  We will be investing $4.6 million in building and facility maintenance, $5.5 million in the water main distribution system, and $1.4 million in treatment plant improvements as the major areas of focus for 2011.

We will continue to maintain the infrastructure to maximize its life so we can continue to deliver Water You Can Trust for Life.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in About Us, Board of Trustees, Infrastructure, Rates