Oswego Village Board votes to tap Lake Michigan for water

Unanimous ballot caps years of study over a new water source

*Reporter Mark Foster contributed to this story.

Tuesday evening to approve a resolution designating Lake Michigan as the preferred new water source for the village and the DuPage Water Commission as the preferred provider of the lake water.

The board vote capped several years of investigation and deliberation over the village’s future source of water.

Village President Troy Parlier called the board’s vote a “long, anticipated moment” for the village.

Parlier said the board and village staff along with their counterparts in neighboring Montgomery and Yorkville have all spent a great deal of time studying new water source options before coming up with their recommendation to seek lake water through the DWC.

“I can’t even begin to count the time, but it was well worthwhile,” Parlier said. “This is the kind of decision that you can’t make a mistake on, you don’t get a second chance. And I want to thank everyone for the time and diligence that they put in on this to make sure we are making the best decision that we can for the village of Oswego.”

The board’s vote sets in motion a process of negotiations with the DWC in order to connect with the well-established system.

Village officials hope that residents will be drinking Lake Michigan water by 2030.

Residents and businesses will be paying a premium, however, with water bills expected to more than double from current rates, according to a study completed for the village.

But with the underground aquifer now serving Oswego rapidly becoming depleted, the village has no choice but to tap into another source.

Tuesday’s board vote means village staff will work to create an intergovernmental agreement with Montgomery and Yorkville to split the cost of extending the pipeline from the DWC network into Kendall County.

The Montgomery Village Board approved a resolution Monday identifying Lake Michigan and the DuPage system as its preferred option, while the Yorkville City Council adopted a similar resolution Tuesday.

The three municipalities will need help from the Illinois General Assembly to change the state law governing the DuPage Water Commission and allow them to join the system. They also will need to obtain permits from the state to tap into Lake Michigan.

The Illinois State Water Survey reports that without taking action, Yorkville, Montgomery and Oswego would be at “severe risk” of meeting water demand by 2050.

The combined population of Oswego, Montgomery and Yorkville is projected to reach more than 143,000 by that same year.

*Reporter Mark Foster contribued to this story.