Water Outages & Advisory Areas
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Current Automated Emergency/Advisory Areas
Des Moines Water Works uses an Automated Notification System to notify customers of various emergencies via automated telephone message. The alerts are geographically defined and can include emergencies such as water outages, boil advisories and important public health or safety notifications. Recipients’ Caller ID will display Des Moines Water Works (515) 283-8700. It is very important that Des Moines Water Works has your current phone number(s) on file in order to communicate in such emergencies. Call Des Moines Water Works at (515) 283-8700 to ensure your phone number(s) on file is current.
You can listen to the emergency message and view the affected area map for current advisory areas:
There are two types of water outages: scheduled and emergency. Scheduled outages include outages required for maintenance, repair, or alteration of the distribution system. In the case of a scheduled outage, every attempt will be made to notify all affected customers. Typically crews will go door-to-door the day prior to the scheduled outage. If there is no answer, a door hanger will be left. Emergency outages include water main breaks or system damage.
If a main break occurs in your neighborhood, our crews work quickly to make the repair and restore water service. Due to the urgency of such situations, our crews make the repair process their top priority. Occasionally, this means water service may be interrupted for periods of time without prior notification. Typically, the water is off for four to six hours.
When the Water Comes Back On
There will likely be air in your water service piping when the water is turned back on. It is a good idea to run water from a faucet that does not have an aerator screen immediately following a water outage. Bathtubs and hosed bibs are good candidates. Open faucets slowly to allow the air to escape. Air will make a spurting or hissing sound as it escapes through the faucet. Once the water is flowing, allow the faucet to run for a minute or two. The water may be cloudy at first due to air in the water or particles that dislodged as the pipes filled with water. This should clear fairly quickly. If water is cloudy throughout the house and it does not clear after allowing the water to run for several minutes, contact Des Moines Water Works dispatch center at (515) 283-8772 for assistance.
If kitchen or bathroom faucets do not perform normally following a water outage it may be necessary to remove the aerator screen. Typically the aerator can simply be unscrewed from the faucet. Inspect the screen for small particles and rinse away any you find. Reinstall the aerator and test performance of the faucet again. If you experience difficulties such as low pressure throughout the house following a water outage, call Des Moines Water Works Dispatch at (515) 283-8772 for assistance.