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Wholesale Customers

Service Relationships with Other Entities
As the major supplier of treated water in central Iowa, Des Moines Water Works maintains a variety of service relationships with surrounding communities and rural areas. The services provided range from simple wholesale water supply to complex bond issues that fund construction of shared facilities. Services now reach communities and rural areas in Dallas County to the west, Warren County to the south, and Madison County to the southwest, in addition to nearly all of Polk County.

General Characteristics
Our service relationships with various neighboring areas fall into one of five general categories:

  1. Total Service, where DMWW operates and maintains entity’s water (or wastewater) system and bills customers directly, but entity retains ownership of the infrastructure assets
  2. Wholesale water supply
  3. Purchased Capacity in DMWW’s treatment plant system
  4. Other contracted services such as customer billing, distribution system services, laboratory services, engineering, etc.
  5. Debt service resulting from Des Moines Water Works’ financing of new facilities utilized by one or more of the entities.
In addition to the five categories indicated above, Des Moines Water Works has assumed ownership of systems in recent years:
  1. Southeast Polk Rural Water System 
  2. East Dallas Water Company (a.k.a. Greenbrier Development)
  3. Polk Co. Rural Water District 1

Total Service
Some communities have chosen to divest themselves of water operations, including distribution system operation, maintenance and replacement of mains, customer service, etc. In these situations, Des Moines Water Works offers Total Service to the community. This relationship and the terms and conditions of the relationship is documented by a 28E agreement with each entity. The entity retains legal ownership of the infrastructure assets, and may in some cases, continue to receive a revenue stream from water revenues to support existing debt service in the entity’s name for the water fund. Under a Total Service relationship, the entity’s customers are direct customers of DMWW, and receive both office and field customer service from DMWW. Water rates for Total Service customers vary by entity and are established by the Board of Trustees.

Wholesale Rates
(effective 4/1/2024)
Type Price
With Storage $4.71 per 1,000 gallons
Off Peak $3.33 per 1,000 gallons
Purchased Capacity $3.59 per 1,000 gallons

Wholesale Accounts and Purchased Capacity
Des Moines Water Works sells water on a wholesale basis to twenty suburban communities and water districts. Water is supplied to each through one or more master meters which are read and billed near the end of each month. Most communities have purchased capacity in our water system, including plant, transmission mains and source water storage. In the past, communities have had the option to purchase capacity in our plant, transmission mains, and storage facilities at $2.00 per gallon, and this upfront investment in infrastructure “buys down” their rate to a purchased capacity rate. This purchased capacity rate eliminates the return on invested capital component of the rate. As long as the entity’s peak day does not exceed their purchased capacity, the purchased capacity rate is applied to total water consumption. If the entity’s peak day does exceed their purchased capacity, a new rate is calculated in accordance with terms specified in the Wholesale Water Service Master Agreement signed by each community. Currently, all municipal communities served by DMWW have purchased capacity of some level, with the exception of the City of Johnston.

The “with storage” rate is applicable to all other entities who have not purchased capacity.

Each of these entities assumes the responsibility for activities such as meter reading, billing and collection and customer service for their individual customers as well as maintenance of the distribution system within their service areas. However wholesale customers have the option to contract one or more of these services with Des Moines Water Works.

City or District Total Service Wholesale Purchased
Greenfield Plaza    
Pleasant Hill  
Polk Co. Benefited Water District    
Polk City    
Warren Water District    
West Des Moines    
Windsor Heights    
Xenia Rural Water District    

Contracted Services
In addition to water supply, Des Moines Water Works offers surrounding communities any of the services it provides within its own service area. Services commonly provided range from meter reading, billing and collecting, leak locating, etc. Payment for these services is arranged through a direct billing to the entity. Fees vary depending on the nature and extent of the services. The specific services provided and payment conditions are negotiated with each entity individually.  Read more information about contracted services offered by Des Moines Water Works. 

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