New Water Source
The Future of Montgomery's Drinking Water Source
"The region is facing a long-term water source sustainability issue. The deep sandstone aquifer that the Village primarily depends on is being used beyond sustainable capacity, and water levels are declining."
- Pete Wallers, Village Engineer
The Illinois Office of Water Resources predicts wells in our area will be at risk of inoperability by 2050. While our deep well water levels are declining, areas immediately adjacent to our Village are facing a more immediate crisis as they have wells that could be inoperable sooner. Therefore, even though the Village is not at immediate risk and the time horizon for crisis is in the future, we are pressing forward to determine the best alternative for our future water supply.
PLAN OF ACTION
Our Public Works and Water Utility Billing teams have been working hard to increase accuracy further and reduce water waste. Water waste or water loss is often due to aging infrastructure or pipes, system leaks, or household plumbing issues. We have aggressively worked towards smart meter installation and are currently 30% complete (as of fall 2021) with total replacement within the Village. Beginning in 2022, we will move to a monthly water billing cycle as well. Smart meters and monthly water billing will allow the Village to better track consumption and give homeowners greater insight into their water use. In addition, the water billing process is often how residents become aware of household water leaks or aging pipe issues.
We are doing this analysis and selection now because if we wait, options that we currently have will not be available in the future, and we will be limiting our choices. The Village Board is committed to the long-range and strategic development of alternative water sources for our Village. The Village started reviewing options in 2015. As a result, there are six viable water options available to us. In the coming months, staff will be refining cost estimates and analysis for all alternative options. On Wednesday, September 15 we will host public information meeting and an open house in cooperation with our strategic partners in Oswego and Yorkville to review these options with residents. The Water Source Open House will be hosted at Grand Reserve Elementary School (3142 Grande Trail, Yorkville) from 5-7P.
At a Board Meeting in October, Village Engineer Pete Wallers and staff will update the board on costs related to the project and financial implications for consideration. In November, your Trustees will meet for a half-day session focusing solely on our alternative drinking water options, financial responsibility, and sustainability for the Village of Montgomery.
The Village Board is working towards having a decision and plan of action in place near the end of 2021.
By the end of 2021, our goal is to have our water source alternative action plan in place, completing this year's goals and objectives for the Montgomery Alternative Water Source Project. Supply options for review include Lake Michigan and the Fox River. There are various pros and cons to each water source and different ways or networks in which the Village can tap into those two water supply options.
Fox River supply options include:
- A partnership with the City of Aurora
- A sub-region joint endeavor with Oswego & Yorkville (aptly named Water Link)
- Independently sourcing our water through the Village of Montgomery.
For residents wishing to learn more about the project, we encourage you to stay updated on the Village website and social media as we will be sharing more throughout this decision-making process. Our goal is for transparency, allowing for education and resident feedback throughout the subsequent phases of this process. I encourage residents to take the time each month to review their water bills and read the information we send out along with the water bills to stay informed.