West Des Moines Water Works
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water shortage plan

 

Current no restrictions are in place.  

 

After drought and water nitrate conditions in 2012, a new metro-wide water shortage plan was adopted in 2014. Since that time the plan has never been implemented. 

 

The West Des Moines Water Works (WDMWW) currently produces approximately 70% of the annual water needs of the city of West Des Moines at the A.C. Ward Municipal Water Treatment Plant. The remaining water supply is purchased through a Wholesale Water Service Master Agreement from Des Moines Water Works (DMWW). DMWW sources raw water for treatment primarily from the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers, which can be more easily affected by drought conditions and water quality issues. The difficulty in obtaining and treating necessary source water quantities led DMWW to develop a revised Water Shortage Plan to help protect customers from pressure, quality, or water availability issues. 

 

The majority of water produced by DMWW is consumed outside the corporate limits of Des Moines, by customers in the greater metropolitan area.  As a significant portion of the peak demands for water systems occur due to turf irrigation during summer months, the conservation plan that DMWW has adopted primarily targets the reduction of this user. 

 

Des Moines Water Works Water Shortage Plan Overview

 

DMWW has developed a multi-stage approach to deal with water shortage. Each level of the four-stage plan is triggered upon the percentage of “Current Capacity to Produce Safe Drinking Water." This capacity is defined as the amount of water that DMWW can produce on any given day, depending on specific circumstances. When system demand reaches 90% of the current capacity, system demand is generating a high number of areas with low pressure, or there are indications that a water shortage may occur, DMWW may trigger implementation of their Water Shortage Plan. Current capacity is not a concrete figure, but fluctuates based on a number of seasonal and environmental conditions.

 

The stages and reduction percentages of the DMWW Water Shortage Plan are as follows:

Stage 1:  Voluntary 25% Reduction in Turf Irrigation. This results in approximately 10% reduction in system demands compared to typical maximum day demand.
Stage 2:  Voluntary 50% Reduction in Outdoor Water Usage (including Turf Irrigation). This results in approximately 25% reduction in system demands compared to typical maximum day demand.
Stage 3:  Enforced Prohibition of Turf Irrigation / No Use of Automatic Irrigation Systems. This results in approximately a 40% reduction in system demands compared to typical maximum day demands.
Stage 4:  Enforced Water Rationing. This results in approximately a 60% reduction in system demands compared to typical maximum day demands.

 

West Des Moines Water Works Water Shortage Plan Approach

Each year, on average, WDMWW produces approximately 70% of the water sold within the corporate limits of the City of West Des Moines. However, during peak use times in the summer months, the amount of purchased water can nearly equal the amount of produced water. Since WDMWW obtains source water solely from deep and shallow wells, the impact of drought and treatment limitations from chemical contamination are not as dramatically felt. Therefore, the Water Shortage Plan contains goals for reduction of water percentages of purchased water, not produced water. The percentage reduction goals for the purchased water volumes match those adopted by DMWW in their plan. However, implementation and enforcement actions differ than those of the DMWW plan. WDMWW will use the DMWW call for each stage in their Water Shortage Plan to trigger the implementation of the same stage within our plan.

 

WDMWW Stage 1: The goal of Stage 1 of the DMWW Water Shortage Plan is an overall 10% reduction in water use as compared to typical maximum day demand. The goal for WDMWW is to reduce purchased water by 10% of the typical maximum day purchased volume. As with the DMWW plan, this is a voluntary phase. WDMWW will call for voluntary actions, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Educating and encouraging customers to optimize irrigation systems by directing sprinkler heads toward grass and/or landscaping, and using only the minimal amount of water necessary to maintain these areas.
  • Recommend customers irrigate on alternate days, e.g. odd numbered addresses water on odd calendar days, even numbered addresses water on even calendar days. For more information on watering your lawn wisely, please click here.  
  • Request that City of West Des Moines departments limit high water use activities and minimize irrigation.

WDMWW Stage 2: The goal of Stage 2 of the DMWW Water Shortage Plan is an overall 25% reduction in water use as compared to typical maximum day demand. The goal for WDMWW is to reduce purchased water by 25% of the typical maximum day purchased volume. As with the DMWW plan, this is a voluntary phase. WDMWW will communicate with increased urgency the request for voluntary actions as described in Stage 1. Additionally, WDMWW will request voluntary compliance with the following measures:

  • Encourage wise usage of water during outdoor activities, including washing vehicles, and outdoor activities which require large volumes of water (filling pools, sprinkler systems, etc.).
  • Encourage wise use of water indoors, including fixing leaking fixtures, washing full loads of laundry and dishes, shorter showers, etc.
  • Request that the City of West Des Moines recreational facilities suspend operation of water intensive fixtures, including non-recycling decorative fountains and spray grounds.

WDMWW Stage 3: The goal of Stage 3 of the DMWW Water Shortage Plan is an overall 40% reduction in water use as compared to typical maximum day demand. The goal in this stage of the WDMWW plan is to reduce purchased water by 40% of the typical maximum day purchased volume. WDMWW will communicate with increased urgency the request for voluntary actions as described in Stages 1 and 2. Stage 3 of the plan is mandatory, with the following requirements and actions for compliance:

  • Turf irrigation will be limited to odd/even day watering based on the numerical address of the property (i.e. a property with an even numbered address is only able to irrigate on even numbered calendar days, odd numbered addresses on odd numbered calendar days).
  • All large water consuming features and installations within the control of the City of West Des Moines will be required to suspend operations, unless authorized in writing by WDMWW.

Enforcement: Customers found irrigating in violation of this policy will be notified by a door tag left at the property. A second violation of the Stage 3 irrigation policy within the same alert period will result in termination of the water service. In many instances, this service termination will result in the loss of both domestic and irrigation water supply. Restoration of water service will occur only after the customer responds in writing that they understand and will comply with mandatory conservation measures. Standard fees and labor rates for service termination and reconnection will apply. Customers who believe the service termination and fees are in error may request a hearing with the General Manager within 24 hours of disconnection.

 

To inform customers of the implementation of Stage 3 and enforcement actions, a news release will be sent to local media outlets and the WDMWW website will contain an informational message. WDMWW will alert by email all customers who have a current email address on record.

 

WDMWW Stage 4: The goal of Stage 4 of the DMWW Water Shortage Plan is an overall 60% reduction in water use as compared to typical maximum day demand. This stage of rationing would only be triggered in situations where Stages 1-3 of the plan have not produced appreciable reductions in water consumption and system demands are in excess of 90% of DMWW’s current capacity. The goal in this stage of the WDMWW plan is to reduce purchased water by 60% of the typical maximum day purchased volume. WDMWW will continue to communicate the request for voluntary actions as described in Stages 1 and 2, and enforce the mandatory measures in Stage 3 not superseded by Stage 4 requirements. Stage 4 of the plan is mandatory and will be enforced at the time non-compliance is identified.

  • Turf irrigation is prohibited, unless specifically authorized in writing by WDMWW

Enforcement:  Turf irrigation in violation of this policy will result in the immediate termination of water service. In many instances, this service termination will result in the loss of both domestic and irrigation water supply. Restoration of water service will occur only after the customer responds in writing that they understand and will comply with mandatory conservation measures. Standard fees and labor rates for service termination and reconnection will apply. Customers who believe the service termination and fees are in error may request a hearing with the General Manager within 24 hours of disconnection.

 

To inform customers of the implementation of Stage 4 and enforcement actions, a news release will be sent to local media outlets and the WDMWW website will contain an informational message. WDMWW will alert by email all customers who have a current email address on record.

 

Call customer service at 515-222-3460 with any questions. 
Email wate[email protected]