Alternative Water Source Study
Alternative Water Source Study
The Alternative Water Source Study began in July of 2018 and was completed in two phases. Fourteen alternatives were evaluated in the Phase I Study. These fourteen alternatives covered the full range of possible water sources including groundwater, rivers and Lake Michigan. The Phase I Study was completed in January 2019 and recommended five alternatives for further evaluation as feasible alternative water sources. The Phase II Study took a more in depth look at the five alternatives in order to determine the improvements that would be required to implement each alternative. The Phase II alternatives included Illinois River, Kankakee River, Lake Michigan Water – Chicago Department of Water Management, Lake Michigan Water – DuPage Water Commission and Lake Michigan Water – New Indiana Intake. Per a letter dated December 4, 2019 from the DuPage Water Commission, they do not want to be considered as an alternative water source supplier for the City of Joliet. Therefore, the evaluation for this option was removed from the Phase II Study. The Phase II Study evaluated the alternatives based on cost, raw water quality, sustainability/water quantity, implementation risk, operation & maintenance, and control (governance).
On December 10, 2019 the City’s Environmental Commission voted to recommend the City pursue Lake Michigan – New Indiana Intake as the primary alternative water source option and Lake Michigan – Chicago Department of Water Management as the secondary water source option. This recommendation was presented for approval by the City Council on January 7, 2020 and the City Council approved pursuing both Lake Michigan options simultaneously in 2020 with a final decision on supply to be made after the completion of the 2020 Evaluation. Implementation of the Lake Michigan – New Indiana Intake option included the following components: new raw water intake and pumping, raw water transmission, raw water treatment, finished water pumping and storage, finished water transmission, receiving station, distribution system modifications, storage in the Joliet water system, back-up water sources, and nonrevenue water reduction. Implementation of the Lake Michigan – Chicago Department of Water Management option included the following components: finished water pumping and storage, finished water transmission, receiving station, distribution system modifications, storage in the Joliet water system, back-up water sources, and nonrevenue water reduction.
Upon completion of the 2020 Evaluation, the results of the evaluation for the two alternatives (Lake Michigan Water – CDWM and Lake Michigan Water - New Indiana Intake) were presented to the Joliet City Council in November and December 2020. On January 28, 2021, the City Council approved the selection of the Lake Michigan Water – Chicago Department of Water Management Alternative as the new water source for the City of Joliet. This selection also included approval of the preliminary Water Supply Agreement with the City of Chicago and authorization to commence with the preliminary design of the selected alternative.