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Des Moines Water Works asks customers to use lawn watering schedule

The recommendation comes as Des Moines Water Works continues to see high nitrate concentrations in drinking water sources.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines Water Works asked customers Wednesday to limit water use and adhere to a lawn watering schedule. 

The recommendation comes as Des Moines Water Works continues to see high nitrate concentrations in some drinking water sources. 

“We want to continue to be able to provide enough safe drinking water for our customers,” said Ted Corrigan, the DMWW CEO and general manager in a press release. “While water quantities in the rivers are plentiful, elevated nitrate levels make it a challenge to meet customer demands. We need customers’ assistance so the safe water we produce is available for consumption, not going onto lawns."

The recommended lawn-watering schedule is as follows:

  • Watering is not recommended on Mondays or during the hottest part of the day between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Even-numbered addresses are asked to water on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Odd-numbered addresses are asked to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

Nitrate concentrations can be largely contributed to upstream land-use practices in which excess nutrients leave the soil and enter lakes, rivers and streams. 

DMWW began operating its nitrate removal facility on June 7 to bring finished drinking water up to safe drinking water standards. It can cost up to $10,000 a day to operate the facility.  

As of Wednesday, customer demand for water was projected at 80 million gallons a day, with a large amount of usage going toward lawn watering and sprinkler systems. 

To meet customer demand and drinking water standards, DMWW blends water sources to reduce nitrate concentration.

Water quality changes rapidly, so check the DMWW Facebook page and tune in to Local 5 for updates as they become available.

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