Public Drinking Water Supply Decision

Overview

The Village of Channahon relies on groundwater aquifers as the source of its drinking water, as do many of our neighboring communities. However, modeling done of our aquifers by the Illinois State Water Survey (link)  indicates that our current water source is not sustainable and is set to be depleted in the coming decades.

Switching to a new water source involves significant improvements and additions to our water system along with regulatory approvals that will take years to accomplish. If the Village does not act soon, it runs the risk of higher costs and limited options regarding a source for our drinking water.

Evaluation

This has been a multi-year process including tremendous research. Through this research the Village has found that excessive de-icing and salt usage across urban Chicagoland is causing chlorides in shallow aquifers to rise. Additionally, water in the aquifers is being depleted quicker than rainwater can replenish it. This decision is not easy but is vitally necessary to ensure the water needs of Channahon residents and the viability of our community into the future.

The Village has compared the costs and benefits of treating and using Kankakee River water or Illinois River water versus joining a Regional Water Commission to receive Lake Michigan water as its future source. Most importantly, the Village is weighing the long-term prospects and sustainability of a new water source and how it impacts the overall future of the Village.

Results

Following all of this research, evaluation and the resulting similarity in costs between options, the Village is considering switching to Lake Michigan water.

Should the Village join the Regional Water Commission and switch to Lake Michigan water, the Village would be partnering with surrounding communities to provide high quality, sustainable drinking water to our current and future residents. Water rate increases will be necessary over time to account for things such as connecting to the Lake Michigan water system, additional water storage facilities and other improvements; but, water rate increases will be necessary regardless of which decision the Board of Trustees lands on. No matter what, a new water source does mean rate increases over time.

Timeline

The Village is looking to finalize its decision on the future public water supply no later than the end of February 2022.

Please check back to this page regularly for further updates and more information as it is available.

Related Documents & Research

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Village of Channahon Public Water Source Forum

The Village of Channahon held two public forums on the future of the Village's water supply on Tuesday, January 11 and Thursday, January 13 at Village Hall.

To view handouts from the meetings, please click here (link).

Please see recordings of each of the meetings below.