Montgomery Village Board OKs $200,000 payment for engineering work on Lake Michigan water pipeline

A Montgomery water tower on Emerald Drive

The Montgomery Village Board has approved the payment of $200,000 to the DuPage Water Commission to cover the village’s share of the initial cost for an engineering study needed for the village to tap Lake Michigan as its water source.

The Village Board voted unanimously Monday, May 11, to approve an intergovernmental escrow agreement with the DWC and neighboring Oswego and Yorkville.

In a memo, Village Administrator Jeff Zoephel said the DWC has asked the village along with Oswego and Yorkville to each provide $200,000 to be placed into an escrow account for the study.

“The village will have to provide an initial $200,000 into (the) escrow account and may have to replenish it at a future date,” Zoephel said.

The DWC is moving ahead with plans to select an engineering firm to design a pipeline to deliver lake water to the three municipalities. The current closest connection point to the existing DWC water system is located near the intersection of Book Road and 75th Street, east of Route 59, in Naperville.

The DWC is expected to award a contract to an engineering firm within the next two months.

The proposed route of the Lake Michigan water pipeline that would serve Montgomery, Oswego and Yorkville is shown on the map above. The pipeline would connect with an existing pipeline near 75th Street and Book Road in Naperville, in the upper right corner. (Map courtesy of the village of Montgomery)

The DWC will construct and then own and operate the pipeline when completed, while the three municipalities will pay connection fees and construction costs.

The Yorkville City Council approved its $200,000 contribution April 25, and the Oswego Village Board authorized its contribution May 2.

Currently the three municipalities all draw their water from a deep sandstone aquifer that extends under much of the Fox Valley region. However, the Illinois Water Survey has determined the water level in the aquifer is dropping, and may not be able to meet local demand by 2050. As a result, the Village Board, along with governing boards of neighboring Oswego and Yorkville all passed resolutions in late 2021 selecting Lake Michigan as their new water source as provided through the DWC.

Construction of the pipeline and supporting facilities will be a massive engineering project. A 2021 engineering study completed for Montgomery estimated capital costs for the village to obtain Lake Michigan water through the DWC at over $100 million. Oswego and Yorkville are also facing similar substantial capital costs.