Utility Services supports university operations by providing the necessary utility services. Staff in Utility Services are responsible for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the utility generation and distribution systems throughout the campus. Below is a review of the various services provided by and the divisions within Utility Services. Also listed below is information on many of the common utility requests. If you have any questions regarding Utility Services, you may call 294-8795. More information can be found on the Utilities Services website.
Utility Production is responsible for the operation, maintenance and improvement of the utility equipment and systems necessary to generate steam, chilled water, and electricity for all campus facilities. Equipment for the main campus is housed in two separate facilities.
The main campus Power Plant is a large industrial facility containing large boilers, steam turbine generators, and large steam or electric driven chillers. The power plant burns coal or natural gas to produce the energy needed by the campus buildings. The power plant produces steam for heating, electricity, and chilled water for cooling all the main campus facilities. Additional cooling for the main campus is also provided by the North Chilled Water Plant which is only operated during the cooling season.
Utility Production is also responsible for the operation and maintenance of two satellite plants, one serving the Veterinary Medicine Complex and the other serving the Applied Science Complex. Both facilities contain natural gas boilers and electric chillers to serve building energy demands. Electric power for these facilities is purchased from the City of Ames. Operators are on staff 24 hours per day to monitor and operate all four Utility Production facilities.
The Utility Production staff is also responsible for planning, design, construction, and maintenance of the production facilities including upgrades, modification, and expansion of the production plants. The staff manages all contracts and agreements for purchase of fuel and limestone, disposal of ash, and purchase of electricity. They also administer various agreements with the City of Ames for domestic water, wastewater treatment, refuse disposal and fire protection.
Mechanical Distribution staff is responsible for operation and maintenance of all mechanical utility distribution systems. These systems are located underground throughout the campus and include steam, chilled water, domestic water, sanitary and storm sewers, natural gas, and compressed air.
Electrical Distribution staff is responsible for operation and maintenance of all electrical distribution system. These systems include high voltage systems, substations, building electrical service entrances, Electrical Distribution staff also maintain campus roadway, sidewalk, and parking lot lighting, traffic signals, and install temporary electrical services for outdoor campus events.
Utility Engineering staff is responsible for planning, design, construction, and operation of all utility systems on the Iowa State University campus. Engineering staff coordinate utility expansion and connections to new buildings on the campus and ensure the systems are operated in a safe and reliable manner to serve the university community.
Common Utility Requests
Utility Services staff is responsible to locate all underground utilities prior to any digging or installation of signs, tent stakes or posts. Locates must be requested at least 48 hours in advance. To request utility locates, please use the online Request for Locates form or call the work information center at 294-5100.
There are numerous street lights, parking lot lights and sidewalk lights throughout the campus. If you note that a light is not working please report it using the online Streetlight Outage Report Form or by calling the work information center at 294-5100. Each pole has an alphanumeric number found on the pole to aid in identification. For traffic signals, please provide the intersection information and a brief description of the problem.
Utility Billing Questions
Utility Services maintains utility metering and billing programs to recover utility costs from campus customers. Billing information is available on line via the following link: view utility billing and consumption online.
Utility staff strives to operate and maintain the utility systems to minimize utility interruptions. In the event your building experiences an unscheduled outage or problems with utility services please contact the work information center at 294-5100.
On occasion, to support system improvements or maintenance activities, scheduled utility outages may be required. Utility staff utilizes email to notify building occupants prior to scheduled utility outages. Our goal is to provide notification three days in advance for planned utility outages. If you would like to be notified about utility outages in your building, you can subscribe to our Customer Notification lists.
Power Plant Tours
The Power Plant is available for tours. Tours can be tailored to the individual needs of many different groups including middle and high school groups, university classes, professional groups, and other organizations. Tours capacity is limited to approximately 30 people at a time. Larger groups can be accommodated with special arrangements and multiple tours. Individuals or groups who are interested in setting up a tour can make arrangements by contacting the Utilities Office at 294-8795.