2017-12-13 Chatham Water Progress Update
Chatham Water – Progress Update
Through the actions of the Village Board, Village staff and the Village’s consulting engineer (Crawford Murphy & Tilly, Inc.), Chatham has been working with our drinking water supplier, the South Sangamon Water Commission (SSWC), to improve the water quality to our citizens as a result of the change to our current water source and treatment plant which occurred in 2012. Since the new source is groundwater and treatment methods are different than that of our previous supplier, Springfield City Water, Light & Power (CWLP), there are differences in drinking water chemistry. The water quality continues to meet and/or exceed all Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) primary drinking water standards, and the agency recommends that all Illinois water supplies attempt to meet the secondary standards as well. We will continue to address our citizens’ concerns regarding water quality, and we will strive to enhance communication with the South Sangamon Water Commission. To date there has been good progress in several areas:
• The IEPA mandated Modified Comprehensive Performance Evaluation (MCPE) for the SSWC treatment facility was completed in April 2016. The MCPE was performed by engineers from Curry and Associates, IEPA engineering staff and Village of Chatham engineering staff. Within a few months after the completion of the report, the SSWC staff had completed most of the suggested improvements. Some items are being addressed on an ongoing basis. We continue to encourage the SSWC staff to strive to meet even higher standards for water quality as recommended in the report.
• As suggested in the MCPE and at the urging of the Village, the phosphate feed rate has been increased to reduce the corrosive effect that the water has on water mains and residential plumbing materials.
• A new treatment chemical, sodium permanganate, is now used as an oxidant to enhance reduction of manganese in the finished water.
• The SSWC’s engineer is designing a new chemical feed system that will convert chlorine to chloramines in the finished water at the plant. This is necessary for the water to be compatible with our back-up water supply, CWLP, and will remove the Village from the IEPA critical review list as a result of plant capacity.
• SSWC and Village staff have increased water quality monitoring for phosphate, chlorine, corrosive indices as well as other parameters.
• SSWC staff are now testing membrane filter integrity on a regular basis. One-third of the membranes will be replaced this spring with new state-of-the-art membranes. The remainder will be replaced in the near future as needed.
• The SSWC consulting engineer, MECO Engineering Company, is in the process of a stem-to-stern review of the treatment process looking at possible future changes and improvements at the water plant.
• We have retained Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc. to serve in the role as “Village Engineers,” drawing on their expertise in the field of drinking water. They have and will continue to assist the Village in answering questions from our water customers regarding water quality and will communicate with the SSWC on water quality issues.
• After development of a water distribution system model using the Village G.I.S. system, the Village systematically and unidirectionally flushed the entire distribution system in late 2016 and early 2017. This removed significant iron, manganese, and scale deposits on the water mains, particularly where closed valves had created dead-end pipes. We believe that this has resulted in improved water quality, and plan to continue the flushing program by flushing one-third of the Village water mains each year.
• Chatham’s water operations staff has responded to residents’ water complaints by testing water at homes and flushing water mains in the area of the complaints.
• A new altitude valve will be installed in the spring of 2018 at the I-55 ground tank where the flow from the SSWC water plant enters the Chatham system. The new valve will provide for better tank water level control and flow monitoring.
• The interior of the I-55 ground storage tank was cleaned and recoated in 2013. Its exterior will be recoated in 2018. The elevated tank interior coating will be spot repaired and the exterior will be recoated in 2018 as well.
• The Village enlisted the services of Holland & Knight Attorneys to investigate the legality of the formation of the SSWC and its bonding authority. It was determined that bonds were issued properly and that legal action against the Board would not likely relieve the ratepayers from their obligation to pay off the bonds.
• The Village publishes an annual Consumer Confidence Report as mandated by the IEPA, and provides additional water quality data in the report above and beyond that required by the Agency.
• Water system activities and data are also shown on the Villages web site. Included is a link to let residents ask questions about their water system https://www.chathamil.net/your-water-questions