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WDMWW Trustees Name New General Manager

5/14/2019

The West Des Moines Water Works Board of Trustees recently announced that it has named Christina Murphy, P.E. (Professional Engineer) as the utility’s new general manager. She succeeds Diana Wilson, who resigned in January. Josh Heggen, manager of business relations, has served as the interim general manager.

Murphy will assume the helm at the Water Works on June 10.

“As we conducted a national search, we looked for a GM candidate who possessed significant knowledge and experience in engineering, planning, project management, resource development and utility operations,” said Brian Rickert, chairman of the WDMWW Board of Trustees. “Christina Murphy checks all these boxes and more. We couldn’t be more pleased that she will be leading our operations.”

For the past five years, Murphy, 39, has served as assistant director for the City of Ames Water & Pollution Control Department. Among her duties and accomplishments, Murphy managed and implemented capital improvements including:

  • Construction of a new 15 million-gallon-per-day (MGD) water treatment plant
  • The development and integration of a new well field
  • Installation of two miles of new raw water pipelines
  • Construction of a new water tower (elevated storage)

She also led study projects on nutrient reduction (nitrogen and fertilizer runoff) and bio-solid residuals handling as well as the utility’s 20-year facility plan for its water pollution control plant.

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Murphy is experienced in regulatory relations and processes having represented the City of Ames on several water projects and issues with Iowa Department of Natural Resources. This included updating the city’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

Her resume includes a five-year assignment with the USDA-National Resources Conservation Service; working as a senior engineer for a private firm; and serving as a lecturer at Purdue University.

The WDMWW general manager position appealed to Murphy in part, she pointed out, because of the opportunities and challenges that the Water Works faces in the next decade and beyond. This includes working with other communities and utilities on cooperative and collaborative solutions to meet the increasing water needs of the metro area.

“West Des Moines Water Works has a reputation in our industry of being forward-thinking, yet mindful of and responsive to ratepayers,” Murphy said. “There is so much happening in Central Iowa, and water plays a major role in the success, growth and quality of life of the community.

“I look forward to leading and collaborating with a team of dedicated and talented water professionals who work hard daily to provide safe, reliable water to the community,” she added.

A native of St. Charles, Missouri, Murphy holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in biological engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also is licensed in the state of Iowa as a Grade II operator for water treatment and a Grade I operator for distribution.

The West Des Moines Water Works is owned by the citizens of West Des Moines and governed by a five-member Board of Trustees. Appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council for staggered six-year terms, the trustees formulate policies and govern the operations of the water utility. Managed by a professional staff, West Des Moines Water Works is supported solely by the revenues it generates by supplying water to the community’s residents and businesses.

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