Des Moines Water Works is facing a problem that has nothing to do with the water supply.
It’s taking on the fight against the Emerald Ash Borer. Water Works Park holds 240 ash trees. Leaders say it’s just a matter of time before they become diseased so they want to remove all of the trees over the next five years.
It will cost about $1,000 per tree to remove, so roughly a quarter of a million dollars for the project. Water Works will use its own staff for most of the removal.
Chief Operating Officer Ted Corrigan says they have thought about trying to save the trees, but it’s too risky.
“There is an option to treat the trees with some sort of pesticide. But we don’t believe treating the trees with a pesticide is appropriate giving the potential water supply implications here in Water Works Park,” says Corrigan.
He says they are still looking to what to do with the trees after they are removed. They hope to get firewood or lumber out of the main parts of the tree and burn, chip, or bury the top of the trees.