Posts Tagged ‘Stage 1 water conservation’

August 29, 2012

Metro-wide Water Conservation Request Lifted

The Stage 1 Water Conservation request made by Des Moines Water Works and all metro area water utilities to voluntarily cease or reduce lawn irrigation will be canceled, effective September 1.

Customer water demand has tapered off in recent weeks as peak lawn irrigation season is past, and voluntary water conservation is no longer necessary; however, if low river flows and dry ground conditions persist into next spring and summer, the conservation plan will need to be reinitiated.

The water conservation request was issued in July due to the excessive temperatures and near historic low river levels. Des Moines Water Works customers set a record water usage of 96.6 million gallons on July 24, and the month of July was an all-time record month of 2.5 billion gallons of water.

“While the Stage 1 request calling for decreased lawn irrigation has been lifted for now, we encourage all Des Moines and suburb customers to continue observing wise water practices to be good stewards of nature’s most precious resource,” said Randy Beavers, Des Moines Water Works CEO and General Manager.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Conservation, Customer Service, Customers August 22, 2012

Stage 1 Water Conservation Update

Metro area residential and business customers continue to support the Stage 1 Water Conservation request made by all of the Des Moines area water utilities to voluntarily cease or reduce lawn irrigation, after pumping a record 96.6 million gallons on July 24.

With cooler temperatures, customer water demand has dropped to somewhat lower levels than typical of late summer when turf irrigation is reduced; however, river levels remain at near historic low levels, with the outlook for the remaining late summer and fall months to be drier than normal.

The metro-wide Stage 1 Water Conservation Plan – which is voluntary and targeted at reduced turf irrigation – is still in effect, and will remain in effect through the end of August.  Watering of gardens, plants and other landscaping was not targeted in the Stage 1 conservation efforts and may continue through the fall.   Since Stage 1 is a voluntary effort, customers who have damaged turf and desire to restore it in September – which is an ideal time for reseeding – may irrigate the damaged/repaired sections of their lawn.

“The Des Moines area water utilities continue to emphasize the wise use of water both inside and outside the home and businesses.” said Randy Beavers, Des Moines Water Works CEO and General Manager. “Residential and business customers can do their part by not over-irrigating and maintaining properly working irrigation systems.”

For more information on the Stage 1 Water Conservation Plan, as well as daily water pumpage updates, visit  http://www.dsmh2o.com/reducing-water-consumption-by-10-percent.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in About Us, Conservation, Customers, Environment August 21, 2012

Successful Gardening in a Drought

As drought conditions continue, it is essential to monitor your trees, shrubs and plants to avoid losing them for good.  As a general rule, most plants require a minimum of one inch of rain a week to remain healthy.  This can be obtained by either rainfall or watering.  Watering should be done in the early morning or early evening to avoid the hottest part of the day and evaporation.  Adhering to Des Moines Water Works stage 1 water conservation guidelines, it is also requested that any watering be done every other day.

Trees, shrubs, and perennials should be watched for either curling leaves or flagging (yellowing of the leaves).  A periodic, heavy watering is more beneficial than a light, daily spraying on these plants.  A bucket of water with small holes in the bottom allows water to slowly release into the soil giving a more uniform watering. Using a two-inch thick layer of mulch around these plants will also help retain moisture levels in the soil and reduce water evaporation. Trees that have been in the ground for less than five years should have priority over older trees.

Vegetable, annual and container gardening dry out much faster than other plants and watering should be done in the morning or late evening. Vegetable crops will likely be smaller than normal due to the heat. They tend to use the energy from water and sunshine just to flower and stay alive and don’t have enough extra energy to produce the crop.

Most brown grass is considered dormant, not dead. Applying a fertilizer would not be recommended in these conditions. Fall aeration and over-seeding would be better money spent. Under DMWW stage 1 water conservation guidelines, it is requested that residents and businesses in the Des Moines metro area cease or reduce lawn irrigation.  If you must irrigate (new sod), do so early morning or late evening, and every other day.

Posted by: Todd Monson No Comments
Labels: , , , , , , , Posted in Conservation, Customers, Des Moines Botanical Center, Green Initiatives August 16, 2012

Brown is the New Green

Recent requests from Des Moines Water Works and metro suburbs asking residential and business customers to eliminate or reduce turf irrigation has presented the opportunity for customers to be “green” by allowing their grass to go brown.

Many environmentally conscious residential and commercial customers have made significant reductions in water use. For example, Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines has reduced its outdoor water usage by 50 percent.

“When residents are asked to help conserve water, we know Mercy needs to do its part,” said Roy Young, manager of Mercy Properties and Plant Operations. “Typically our lawn irrigation systems run at night for 20 minutes on the Mercy Central Campus, Mercy College and Mercy Park Apartments. We’ve cut that to 10 minutes, and in some cases less. In a drought situation every bit of conservation helps.”

Another environmentally conscious customer, Quick Trip Corporation, has completely shut off irrigation at 22 Des Moines area locations.

It makes good sense to be a wise water user all year long, not just in times of drought.  Residential and business customers can do their part by not over-irrigating and maintaining properly working irrigation systems.  Des Moines Water Works and metro area suburbs appreciate customers pulling together and making small sacrifices, primarily in reduced irrigation, to help ensure Des Moines Water Works can continue to deliver a quality and reliable water supply.

Posted by: John Lins No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Conservation, Customer Service, Customers, Green Initiatives July 27, 2012

Reducing Water Consumption by 10 Percent

In response to Des Moines metro area customers using a record 96.6 million gallons of water, Des Moines Water Works and suburb communities implemented Stage 1 of a water conservation plan, with a goal to reduce total water consumption by 10 percent.  Des Moines Water Works and all metro area suburbs’ primary focus in achieving reduced usage included asking residential and business customers to voluntarily cease lawn irrigation.

How Are we Doing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click to enlarge. This graph will be updated as information becomes available.

Stage 1 Water Conservation Facts

  • Des Moines Water Works, with cooperation from metro area suburbs, implemented stage 1 of its water conservation plan on July 24.
  • Stage 1 asks residential and business customers to voluntarily cease lawn irrigation and take other actions to help conserve water.
  • Due to low river levels and water quality issues in the rivers, stage 1 water conservation practices are requested until the weather pattern changes. As of August 21, the voluntary request is still in effect through the end of August.
  • The following communities/water utilities are included in the stage 1 water conservation plan:
  • City of Alleman
  • City of Altoona
  • City of Ankeny
  • City of Berwick
  • City of Bondurant
  • City of Carlisle
  • City of Clive
  • City of Cumming
  • City of Johnston
  • City of Mitchellville
  • City of New Virginia
  • City of Norwalk
  • City of Pleasant Hill
  • City of Polk City
  • City of Runnells
  • City of St. Charles
  • City of Waukee
  • City of Windsor Heights
  • Des Moines Water Works
  • Indianola Municipal Utilities
  • Polk County Benefited Water District
  • Polk County Rural Water District #1
  • Urbandale Water Utility
  • Warren Water District
  • West Des Moines Water Works
  • Xenia Rural Water

What is Des Moines Water Works Doing?

  • Des Moines Water Works has turned off three decorative water fountains located on its Fleur Drive/George Flagg Parkway property.  The Memorial Garden fountain in Water Works Park will be turned back on for scheduled rental activities.
  • Des Moines Water Works has ceased turf irrigation at several locations, except for the Memorial Garden fountain lawn, which has been reduced to every other day.
  • Des Moines Water Works has reduced watering of the Fleur Drive median plants to every other day.
  • Des Moines Water Works has suspended fire hydrant flushing program.  In the case of water main breaks/repairs, fire hydrants must be flushed for water quality purposes.
  • Des Moines Water Works has requested the City of Des Moines reduce irrigation at municipal golf courses and other turf lawns throughout the city, where possible.

What Can a Homeowner Do?

  • Voluntarily suspend lawn irrigation.
  • If you must water, you are encouraged to do so no more than every other day and between the hours of 8:00 pm, and 6:00 am. Also check to make sure all sprinkler heads are working correctly and pointing in the correct direction.
  • You may continue watering flowers and vegetable gardens.
  • Don’t leave water running if you wash a car at home.
  • Don’t use water to hose down sidewalks and driveways, use a broom instead.
  • Don’t leave water running when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Consider taking shorter showers.

These wise water use measures make good sense to do year-round, but the primary factor that will lower water demand is reduced lawn irrigation.

What Can Businesses Do?

  • Voluntarily suspend lawn and turf irrigation.
  • If you must water, you are encouraged to do so no more than every other day and between the hours of 8:00 pm, and 6:00 am. Also check to make sure all sprinkler heads are working correctly and pointing in the correct direction.
  • You may continue to water flower and vegetable gardens.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Why did Des Moines Water Works and Des Moines area suburbs initiate stage 1 of the water conservation plan?
Lower demand increases water tank levels, which help customers see an increase in water pressure and also ensures a sufficient supply of water for fire protection.

Q:   How long will stage 1 last?
Due to low river levels and water quality issues in the rivers, stage 1 water conservation practices are requested until the weather pattern changes.

Q:  Is compliance mandatory?
No. Conservation is strongly encouraged but only voluntary at this time.

Q:   Will I be fined if I water my lawn?
No. Not in stage 1.

Q:   Has Des Moines Water Works implemented water conservation practices before?
Likely during the drought of 1977; that was the last drought year in which there was a severe shortage of water in the Raccoon River.  That was Des Moines Water Works only source water plus the infiltration gallery along the Raccoon River to supply water to the Fleur Drive water treatment plant.  Des Moines Water Works only had one treatment plant at that time and it was also when there were not near the amount of in-ground sprinkler systems that exist today.

Q:   Does Des Moines Water expect to move to stage 2? What does stage 2 entail?
Des Moines Water Works does not foresee moving beyond Stage 1 prior to September 1, unless river flow and weather patterns persist, such that historic low river flows are reached.  Stage 2 still implements voluntary conservation measures to achieve a 30% water reduction but asks in addition to Stage 1, that public agencies look to suspend decorative fountains and close any recreational facility that is known water waster like a leaking swimming pool.

 

Posted by: Laura Sarcone 5 Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Conservation, Customer Service, Customers