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NEWS RELEASE: Des Moines Water Works Lifts Water Restrictions; Microcystin Potential Continues Need for Wise Water Use Practices

Des Moines Water Works today has lifted stage one of its Water Shortage Plan effective immediately because of reduced customer demand and lessening drought conditions.

Last month, the utility and its partner water utilities in central Iowa implemented a 25 percent reduction in lawn watering, stage one of the metro’s plan, when customer demand caused Des Moines Water Works’ treatment plants to operate at more than 90 percent of capacity.

“We appreciate central Iowa’s collective efforts to adhere to the request to reduce their water usage and use water wisely,” said Ted Corrigan, Des Moines Water Works’ chief executive officer and general manager. “Recent rains have helped from both a river level and customer demand perspective, allowing the restriction to be lifted.”

The utility continues to monitor water use and water quality on a daily basis. Conditions can change quickly and could lead to reinstatement of the Water Shortage Plan. Specifically, Des Moines Water Works monitors for microcystin in both the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers on a daily basis. Microcystin is a toxin produced when harmful algae blooms are fueled by nitrogen and phosphorus contamination in surface waters.

For the past two summers, microcystin levels in the Des Moines River have been too high to utilize the water for a drinking water source. Utility officials expect the same could happen again this summer, as Saylorville Reservoir has issued advisories for cyanobacteria blooms and microcystin levels and advised against swimming in its waters.

Des Moines Water Works encourages its 500,000 central Iowa residential and business customers to continue to follow the Wise Water Use odd/even/no Monday lawn watering schedule: Recommended Wise Water Use Irrigation Schedule

“This is an effective practice that customers should continue in order to use water resources efficiently,” Corrigan said.

The metro area’s Water Shortage Plan could be re-implemented in situations where water quality could affect system demand, or cause pressure, quality or availability issues.

Water quality can change on a daily basis. Customers should visit the utility’s website: and follow DMWW on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for the most up-to-date information.

The following communities and agencies are served in whole or in part by Des Moines Water Works: Alleman, Ankeny, Berwick, Bondurant, Clive, Cumming, Des Moines, Johnston, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Runnells, unincorporated Polk County, Urbandale, Waukee, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights, and rural water districts such as a Warren Water and Xenia Rural Water districts.

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