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Alternative Water Source Study 

Alternative Water Source Studies

 

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

  • Lake Michigan Water – New Indiana Intake

 

Per a letter dated December 4, 2019 from the DuPage Water Commission, they did 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

  • 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. 

Phase I Study Final Report

Phase II Study Final Report

Public Outreach

A quarterly newsletter was issued to provide program updates. Newsletters are located in the Document Library.

There are a variety of educational topics that have been developed. Educational topics are located in the Document Library.

City Council Workshops & Meetings

Multiple workshops were held in 2019 and 2020 to present program updates to the City Council and receive input and feedback on the Alternative Water Source Program. Since 2021, program updates have been provided quarterly at regularly scheduled Pre-Council meetings. The public is invited to attend and participate in these workshops and meetings. Visit the Document Library.

Stakeholder Meetings

Virtual meetings were held once every four months. These meetings provided updates on the Alternative Water Source Study as well as updates on Joliet water topics. The public is invited to attend, participate, and ask questions at these meetings. Notices of these events are advertised in the newspaper, through email notification to everyone on the stakeholder list and on this website. 

Public Forum

Public forums were held in December 2019 and December 2020.

Project Team

The Alternative Water Source Program is being led by staff of the City of Joliet. The City Council, Public Service Committee and Finance Committee are all actively engaged in this process.

A consultant team led by Stantec has been retained by the City to complete this Program along with a team of subconsultants including Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Cornwell Engineering Group, Engineering Enterprises, Inc., Images, Inc., Strand Associates, and V3 Companies.

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