(Des Moines) -- People in the Des Moines area asked to schedule their outdoor water use is not a drought precaution. Des Moines Water Works General Manager Ted Corrigan says nitrate concentrations remain high in the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers, due to farm run-off. He says their nitrate removal system continues to run, which costs $10,000 per day to operate. He says customers limiting when they water their lawns and gardens will help the utility get clean water to the metro area, as it works to mix treated water into the system to put the nitrate in the water at an acceptable level. He says higher concentrations of nitrates and higher demand in general put the utility in a bind. He says water demand for Wednesday was projected to be 80-million gallons.
DMWW is asking residents to not water on Mondays, nor between 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. It also asks customers with even-numbered addresses to water on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. And odd-numbered addresses to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Water Works serves 600,000 customers throughout the Des Moines area. He says river levels are still good, but if the summer is hot and dry the utility could enact further water conservation recommendations. But he says they're not currently seeing a drought issue.
(Updated June 24)