NEWS RELEASE: Des Moines Water Works Response to COVID-19

March 20, 2020 Update

View Des Moines Water Works' Response to COVID-19 video: https://youtu.be/rv2SMoAD2bI

The water we deliver to your tap is safe to drink.

Des Moines Water Works’ multiple-barrier approach and traditional disinfection methods used to meet state and federal drinking water regulations require treatment to remove or kill pathogens, including viruses. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water.

On any given day, Des Moines Water Works’ state certified laboratory conducts 50 to 60 tests on our various source waters and another 150 to 200 tests to ensure the highest quality of water is produced.

The laboratory doesn’t just test for federally regulated contaminants, we also take great pride in monitoring and testing for emerging and unregulated threats so that we can stay ahead of potential health risks.

Des Moines Water Works has plans in place to handle variety of emergency situations and pandemics.

Des Moines Water Works was one of the first water utilities in America to begin sequestering critical staff at its water treatment plant as part of our response plan to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan was created by staff over 10 years ago for situations just like we are experiencing today.

Beginning in late March, Des Moines Water Works sequestered employees at each of our three water treatment plants for two weeks at time.  The critical staff includes operations, maintenance, repair, controls, supervision, and regulatory compliance employees to ensure a continuous supply of safe and reliable water to serve Central Iowa during these unprecedented circumstances.

During this time, please remember the following:

  • Our General Office remains closed to the public.
  • In-home customer service visits and backflow inspection visits are temporarily suspended, unless an emergency.
  • Please log-in to your online customer account at www.dmww.com or contact a Customer Service Representative at (515) 283-8700 to assist you with payment.
  • And because proper sanitation is important to curb community spread of the virus, Des Moines Water Works will temporarily suspend service termination for delinquent accounts.
  • While the General Office is closed, customers can continue to make payment by check, online, or by phone. Customers can contact us to make a pay arrangement so their water is not terminated immediately when the suspension is lifted.

Des Moines Water Works field crews will continue maintaining and repairing the infrastructure that supports the water system, including responding to main breaks and planned improvement projects.

Water you can trust for life. It’s not just our motto, it’s our mission that guides everything we do when it comes to providing over 500,000 Central Iowans safe, affordable and abundant drinking water straight to their tap.

So have a glass water. Wash your hands. Stay home. Thank an essential worker.

We’re all in this together. And together, we are #DSMStrong.

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March 16, 2020 Update

Des Moines Water Works’ General Office Building will close to walk-in customers beginning Tuesday, March 17, and in-home customer service visits and service termination will be suspended

Water supply is critically important to the public health of our community at all times, and Des Moines Water Works recognizes our role in the community has grown even more critical in recent weeks. Des Moines Water Works has been operating under its 4-phase Contagious Disease Response Plan for several weeks. This plan helps ensure a continuous supply of safe and reliable water to serve Central Iowa during these unprecedented circumstances.

In an effort to comply with national, state and local guidance to limit person-to-person contact, Des Moines Water Works will enact the following:

  • Close the General Office Building to walk-in customers, effective Tuesday, March 17.
  • Temporarily suspend in-home customer service visits, except for emergencies, as well as backflow inspection visits.
  • Additionally, because proper sanitation is important to curb community spread of the virus, Des Moines Water Works will temporarily suspend service termination for delinquent accounts.

Des Moines Water Works has also begun stockpiling chemicals, repair parts, and other supplies necessary in order to ensure continued production and distribution of safe drinking water to Central Iowa.

“Des Moines Water Works plays a critical role in providing Central Iowa with a safe and abundant water supply,” said Ted Corrigan, Interim CEO and General Manager. “Des Moines Water Works employees take pride in providing an essential service to our community and will continue to provide that service as the COVID-19 situation unfolds.”

Customer Service/Payment Options

While walk-in customer service is temporarily suspended in this phase, Des Moines Water Works offers a variety of opportunities to complete your payment and customer service needs:

  • Online Account: Login to online account to pay by credit card ($2.75 convenience fee), recurring credit card, direct pay or electronic check.
  • Phone: Please call (515) 283-8700, and a Customer Service Representative is available to assist you Monday-Friday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. Pay by credit card ($2.75 convenience fee) or electronic check (no fee).
  • Drop Box: Place bill stub and payment in the payment drop box located at 2201 George Flagg Parkway.
  • Mail: Mail bill stub and payment to PO Box 9227, Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9227.
  • Pay Stations: Customers may make monthly payment at most local HyVee and Wal-Mart stores. The pay station may charge a fee for this service; however, these fees are not collected by Des Moines Water Works.

Important Information about Coronavirus and Drinking Water

Is drinking tap water safe?
Des Moines Water Works’ finished drinking water remains safe. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water.  Des Moines Water Works’ multiple-barrier approach and traditional disinfection methods used to meet U.S. Environment Protection Agency's (EPA) drinking water regulations include treatment to remove or kill pathogens, including viruses.

EPA recommends that Americans continue to use and drink tap water as usual. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated the “presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.” Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 is mainly thought to spread between people who are in close contact with one another. Read more from the CDC about transmission of COVID-19.

Do I need to boil my drinking water?
Boiling your water is not required as a precaution against COVID-19.

Do I need to buy bottled water or store drinking water?
EPA recommends that citizens continue to use and drink tap water as usual. At this time, there are no indications that COVID-19 is in the drinking water supply or will affect the reliable supply of water.

Is tap water safe to use for hand washing?
EPA recommends that Americans continue to use and drink tap water as usual. According to the CDC, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read CDC’s handwashing guidance.

What should I do If I’m concerned about my drinking water?
Customers may contact Des Moines Water Works at 283-8700 to learn more about the water treatment process, including filtration and disinfectant that remove or kill pathogens before water is pumped into the distribution system.

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