Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

December 30, 2019

New Year’s Resolution: Drink Tap

New Year’s resolutions are usually about saving money, getting healthy or helping to make the world a better place. The perfect resolution that does all three? Reduce bottled beverages and drink tap water in a reusable water bottle.

Tap water is safe, affordable, sustainable and convenient.

  • Studies show that bottled water is no safer than tap water. Des Moines Water Works performs up to 250 tests daily in its state certified laboratory, and must meet 90 regulations for water safety and quality. In addition, tap water has zero calories, sugar and fat. Calories and sugar in sports drinks (when you don’t need them) and sodas can add up quickly.

  • At approximately one penny per gallon, Des Moines Water Works’ tap water is about 1,000 times less expensive than bottled water. An 8 ounce glass of tap water can be refilled approximately 15,000 times for the same price as a six pack of soda.

  • Plastic bottles not recycled properly can end up in landfills or waterways and most of the environmental impact from bottled water comes from the manufacturing and transportation of the product. While producing and distributing water is an energy-intensive operation, Des Moines Water Works was the first water treatment plant in the United States to become certified for Superior Energy Performance by the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • Quality water is available right at the tap. Invest in a quality reusable water bottle that keeps water cold for hours. Many public buildings, schools, and area attractions have reusable water bottle filling stations – fill, drink, repeat.

New Year’s resolutions that involve minor changes to your daily life are the easiest to stick with. While drinking tap water might be a small step, it can have a big impact to your health, budget and the environment!

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Health, Uncategorized, Value of Water August 9, 2017

Citizen Water Academy of Central Iowa

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 presented by contaminated source water are not common knowledge among most citizens.  With water quality on the minds of Central Iowans, Des Moines Water Works is launching a Citizen Water Academy of Central Iowa in an effort to engage the public in more detail about the evolution of drinking water and understand plans for the future that meet the growing needs of our community.

The Citizen Water Academy is a free, four-session crash course about the history, use and management of water in the Central Iowa region.  The Academy is designed to help current and emerging leaders in our community learn and appreciate our most important natural resource, the water we depend on for life.  Attendees will receive 16 hours of instruction, tour multiple treatment plants operated by Des Moines Water Works, listen to over 15 presentations from soil and water experts, and interact with our expert Des Moines Water Works staff over the 4 courses of the program.  It is our hope 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 debate on important water issues now and in the future.

For more information on the Citizen Water Academy and to apply to be a part of the inaugural class, visit  For specific questions, contact Jennifer Terry, at (515) 283-8706 or [email protected]

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in About Us, Education, Health, History, Infrastructure, Public Policy, Source Water, Value of Water, Water Quality, Water Treatment June 8, 2017

Keep your cool, stay hydrated

We know we need to stay hydrated during these hot days of summer. But what drink is the best? Grab a glass of Des Moines Water Works tap water.

Tap water is safe and affordable

Municipal tap water in the United States is some of the safest water you can drink. You can go to nearly any city in the country and drink the water without giving its safety a second thought. Nonetheless, many people choose to spend more for bottled water. Studies show that bottled water is no safer than tap water, yet bottled water costs almost 2,000% more. An 8 ounce glass of water can be refilled approximately 15,000 times for the same price as a six pack of soda.

Replace sports drinks with H2O

A common myth is sports drinks are needed during and after a sports game or workout to recover. The fact is unless you work out hard for more than one hour, the fluids lost through sweat can be replaced with plain water. Drinking sports drinks when you don’t need them can lead to gaining weight. Sports drinks may be appropriate for competitive sports that last more than one hour, but during the day and at most sports practices, water is the best drink.

More tips to stay hydrated:

  • Don’t wait until you are thirsty.
  • Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  • Check on elderly family and neighbors.
  • Remember to replenish your pets’ water dish frequently.
Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Customer Service, Customers, Health, Value of Water August 14, 2013

Healthy & Happy Outdoors at the Iowa State Fair

3Des Moines Water Works is a supporter of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Healthy & Happy Outdoors (H2O) program and was present when Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds kicked off the H2O program at the Iowa State Fair. The H2O program helps you get connected to Iowa outdoor destinations, including Water Works Park, and recreational activities for a healthier life! Helping Iowans improve physical and mental health through outdoor recreation is an important goal for DMWW.  Above photo:  IDNR Deputy Director Bruce Trautman, Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds

Here’s how the H2O program works: After you register on H2O website, you can record your outdoor activities in Iowa parks and recreational areas. Each recorded activity counts as an entry into a prize drawing for outdoor gear– from bikes to binoculars to a vacation getaway. The more outdoor activities you register, the more chances you have to win. Log in today to get started! Participants who log activities between now and August 31, 2013 are eligible to win an Iowa State Park camping coupon book.

1Des Moines Water Works and Iowa DNR is providing free water at the Iowa State Fair in the Department of Natural Resources building. Bring your reusable water bottle to the Fair and fill up!

Posted by: Linda Kinman No Comments
Labels: , , , , , , Posted in Des Moines Water Works Park, Environment, Health, Parks July 4, 2013

Avoiding Extreme Heat

woman drinking fountainMost people think of 97 degree highs when they hear the words “extreme heat,” but even temperatures in the upper 80s can cause health problems. When the temperatures are high, and especially when the humidity is high, your body’s ability to sweat and cool itself off decreases. This means that your body temperature can quickly rise to dangerous levels that can cause damage to your brain and vital organs.

Keep your home cool by following these tips:

  • Install temporary window reflectors, such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades or awnings. Outdoor awnings can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80%.
  • Keep storm windows up in the summer.
  • Avoid using appliances such as washer and dryer (if on the main level), dishwasher and stove during the hottest periods of the day.

To avoid heat related illness or death, follow these simple tips:

  • Drink lots of fluids – don’t wait until you are thirsty. Avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
  • Try to limit outdoor activities to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas to let your body cool down.
  • Never leave children or pets in a car, even if the windows are cracked or open.

The most important thing you can do is check on people you know who might be at risk, such as the elderly, people with chronic diseases, or people who are obese. Especially check on those who are reluctant to use or do not have an air conditioner. Remember, just a few hours in air conditioning can prevent heat related illness and death.

For more information, call Polk County Health Department at (515) 286-3798 or Polk County Emergency Management at (515) 286-2107.

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , , Posted in Customer Service, Customers, Health May 2, 2013

Get Healthy and Happy Outdoors Today!

Healthy&HappyOutdoorsIf you’re looking for a way to get healthier, a new program from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in partnership with Des Moines Water Works and several Iowa organizations, provides you resources and recognition for spending more time outdoors.

The Healthy & Happy Outdoors initiative, or H2O, connects you to Iowa’s natural resources and helps you enjoy an active lifestyle.

It’s easy to get started:

  1. Register online at
  2. Get outside. Log your outdoor recreation activities on the H2O website.
  3. Need some recommendations? Find more than 1,600 recreation locations across the state in an interactive map (including Water Works Park and Maffitt Reservoir Park) along with suggestions for outdoor opportunities you might enjoy.
  4. Win prizes! Each activity you log counts as an entry for regular drawings of outdoor-themed prizes, with a first-year celebration of H2O at the Iowa State Fair in August 2013.

The DNR and the program’s partners aim to have 1,000 participants sign up for H2O in the first year, and 50,000 participants by 2016. Program partners include the Healthiest State Initiative, Des Moines Water Works, Iowa Association of County Conservation Boards, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Department of Transportation, and Iowa Tourism Office.

“Our goal is to help Iowans increase mental and physical health through outdoor recreation in Iowa’s natural spaces,” said Chuck Gipp, DNR Director.

The H2O website will continually grow with tips, healthy resources, additional activities and more. You can also help improve the map – if you visit a recreation area not shown on the map, just include it in your activity log and the H2O team will add it.

Des Moines Water Works is pleased to be a part of this exciting initiative. Get healthy and happy outdoors today!

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , , Posted in Customers, Environment, Health, Parks April 1, 2013

Water’s Role in Public Health

Des Moines Water Works celebrates public health during National Public Health Week (April 1-7, 2013), a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. In a world where an estimated 3 million people die every year from preventable waterborne disease, our water systems allow us to drink from virtually any public tap with a high assurance of safety. Each community water supply meets rigorous federal and state health protective standards.

Drinking water quality has a major influence on public health. Improvements in drinking water quality have dramatically improved the public’s health in the United States. However, some old challenges remain and new ones are emerging. Access to plentiful healthy source waters treated for drinking water are becoming limited by the increased presence of contaminants, new and more stringent regulations, and aging infrastructure. The public costs to safeguard our drinking water supply will be high without changes in land use that prevents the continued increase of contaminants from reaching our water sources, but the costs associated with failing to do so are likely to be much higher.

Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) is committed to protecting public health by assessing water quality in the Raccoon and Des Moines River watersheds and mitigating the public’s exposure to contaminantsthrough treatment.We work with landowners to help identify appropriate barriers for controlling contaminants that do not focus on expensive treatment processes, but rather consider a range of options that may result in improved water quality and in our ability to ensure quality drinking water after treatment. This is a holistic approach of managing water resources from our source to your tap.

For 40 years, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) has been the regulation by which drinking water utilities adhere to, to protect public health. When the SDWA became law in 1974 it required the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set enforceable standards for health-related drinking water contaminants. The SDWA has been reauthorized in 1986 and 1996. In fact, the drinking water industry is one of the most regulated industries in the United States. In addition to meeting EPA drinking water standards, DMWW is proactively monitoring emerging contaminants that may require regulations in the future.

Protecting public health is the reason that the drinking water industry exists. The public health effects of current and future contaminants is the motivation behind the need for sustainable infrastructure, skilled operators, technical expertise, leadership and improvement and protection of the Raccoon and Des Moines River watersheds.

Posted by: Linda Kinman No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in About Us, Health, Public Policy, Water Quality July 18, 2012

Fill’er up! DSM H2GO Mobile Water Filling Stations

Be on the lookout for mobile water filling stations, operated by Des Moines Water Works at upcoming community events. Enjoy quality Des Moines water on the go. Each DSM H2GO station features six water spigots to fill your reusable water bottle, one drinking fountain and a dog bowl for your thirsty pets!

Des Moines Water Works tap water doesn’t just taste great:

It’s clean:  Des Moines Water Works ranked number one on list of U.S. cities with the cleanest drinking water.

It’s healthy:  Water contains zero calories, zero sugar and zero fat. A typical 12-ounce can of soda contains about 150 calories and the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. Sports drinks, which are marketed as healthy alternatives, have as many calories as sugary beverages and usually contain high levels of sodium.

It’s affordable:  Des Moines Water Works tap water is a great deal. At approximately one penny per gallon, it is about 1,000 times less expensive than bottled water.

It’s green:  Plastic water bottles produced for the U.S. use 1.5 million barrels of oil a year – enough to power 250,000 homes or 1000,000 cars all year. And it takes more than 3 liters of water to produce each liter of water.

It’s convenient:  Quality water is available right from the tap. DSM H2GO mobile water stations will be available at upcoming community events, making staying hydrated easy and affordable. Look for the DSM H2GO station at Des Moines’ Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, July 21.  Free water bottles will be given out while supplies last.

Live healthy. Be green. Drink tap!

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Conservation, Customer Service, Customers, Environment, Green Initiatives, Health May 6, 2012

Take Back the Tap Pledge

Although it may be convenient, choosing bottled water is not always better. Celebrate Drinking Water Week – May 6-12, 2012 – by pledging to Take Back the Tap.

Tap water is clean. In fact, Des Moines Water Works ranked number one on list of U.S. cities with the cleanest drinking water.

Tap water is inexpensive. If you drank bottled water every day for 70 years, it would cost a startling $101,000. If you drank tap water, it would cost less than $40.00.

Tap water is convenient. Increasingly, you can find cafés, shops and other venues that will refill your reusable water bottle. Locate a venue near you with a mobile app.

Des Moines Water Works encourages customers to pledge to Take Back the Tap and show your commitment to drinking quality water from Des Moines Water Works.  Stop by the DSM H2Go water station this Friday at Gray’s Lake from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and get a free reusable water bottle for signing a Take Back the Tap pledge, or submit an online pledge form by June 15, to be entered into a drawing to win a Des Moines Water Works prize pack!

Remember to choose tap water over bottled water whenever possible and when you are away from home and must choose a beverage in a non-reusable container, please recycle the bottle or can.

Also, stay informed about water quality.  Des Moines Water Works produces an annual water quality report, also known as a Consumer Confidence Report.  This report, required by law to provide water quality information, is mailed to customers every June.  A copy of this year’s report can be found at

Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , Posted in Customer Service, Customers, Education, Environment, Health April 26, 2012

Prepare Yourself for Wild Weather

Reprinted with permission by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Iowa Newspaper Foundation

Iowa is no stranger to wild weather.  Prepare yourself with this helpful hints and terminology.

All thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightening which is one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States.

Remember the 30/30 Lightening Safety Rule: go indoors if, after seeing lightening, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thundering.  Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.  If you cannot get indoors, here are tips for staying safe outside:

  • In an open area:  Go to a low place such as a ravine or valley. Watch out for flash flooding.
  • On open water:  Get to land and find shelter immediately.
  • Anywhere you feel your hair stand on end (which indicates that lightening is about to strike):  Squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact to the ground. DO NOT lie flat on the ground.

Flooding happens during heavy rains, when rivers overflow, snow melts too fast or levees break.  This is the most common natural weather event. Here are few tips:

  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • If you’re in a car and floodwaters rise around it, get out of the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately.

  • If you are at home, go to your pre-designated shelter area that you and your family determined, most likely the basement. If you do not have a basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, hallway) away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Do not open your windows.
  • If you are in a vehicle, trailer or mobile home, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or storm shelter.
  • If you are outside with no shelter, lie flat in a nearby ditch and cover your head with your hands. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.


  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch:  Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to happen. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or TV for information.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning:  Issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate danger to those in the path of the storm is likely and they should seek shelter.
  • Flood Watch or Flashflood Watch:  Flooding may happen soon. Stay tuned to the radio or TV news for more information.
  • Flood Warning:  You may be asked to leave the area. A flood may be happening or will be very soon.
  • Flashflood Warning:  A flashflood is happening. Get to high ground right away.

Sources: American Red Cross,  


Posted by: Laura Sarcone No Comments
Labels: , , , , , Posted in Customer Service, Customers, Environment, Flooding, Health