Water System Improvements

Public Works has been making many improvements to the water distribution system. By maintaining a forward-thinking orientation, the city can help ensure the system will be reliable and available when you need it. Highlights of these activities include replacing older deteriorating control systems, implementing cutting edge technology, and creating a dedicated five-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for the water distribution system.
 
Supervisory Computer & Data Acquisitions
A new computerized control Supervisory Computer and Data Acquisitions (SCADA) system has been operational for nearly a year and has greatly enhanced our ability to manage the water pumping and sanitary sewer lift stations. Upgrades include: improved pumping efficiency, better regulated system pressure, fewer water main breaks, enhanced monitoring capacity of the city's sanitary and storm water lift stations, and improved control of all systems by our water plant operators through remote access via laptop computers.
 
Water System Study

A comprehensive water system study has been completed with our engineers Baxter and Woodman. This study created a hydraulic model of the city's water system to examine areas of concern with system pressures, fire flows (volume of water for fire fighting), deteriorating pipe conditions, water main break frequency and water quality. Recommendations of the Public Works Management Team and Baxter and Woodman engineers resulted in the development of a five-year CIP for the water distribution system.
 
Water Main Replacement
Two projects are slated for completion in 2007 under the CIP.   Phase I will be the installation of a new water main on 151st Street from Central Avenue to Long Avenue. Phase II will involve replacing the aging and deteriorating six-inch water main with a larger eight-inch main along 151st Street from Long Avenue to LeClaire Avenue.
 
Cutting-edge technology - Leak Detection System

The city is on the cutting edge of technology with a new city-wide water main leak detection system. Our system will be the first fixed-network with entire city-wide coverage in Illinois. Equipment installation is currently underway and should be completed by the end of summer. The Public Works Department will soon be able to automatically find hidden underground water leaks during the night - finding small leaks before they become big problems. The sensors wake up and record vibrations in the underground water mains for four hours in the quietest part of the night.

The leak-detection sensors and new water meters will be attached to water pipes in 750 homes across the city. Affected residents will soon be contacted so the contractors can start the installations. The new leak detection system coupled with our water meter change-out program will greatly improve service while plugging leaks and cutting losses.