The Oswego Village Board is working towards a goal of choosing a new public water source for the village by the end of this year.
During a board committee of the whole meeting held June 8 at Village Hall, Jennifer Hughes, the village’s director of public works and engineer, presented board members with a timeline for reviewing the various water source options and for making a final decision.
Hughes and other staff members also recounted why the village is now seeking a new source of water.
A memo submitted to the board by Hughes explained that the village’s current deep groundwater aquifer, the current water source, “will be at severe risk of depletion and no longer able to meet the village’s maximum daily water demand sometime between 2030 and 2050.”
“Groundwater modeling conducted by the Illinois State Water Survey indicated that the groundwater will eventually fall below the level of the existing well system due to the high area demand and the comparatively slow rate of recharge within the aquifer,” the memo read.
Three water-related studies were previously conducted by the village, evaluating future needs as Oswego and Kendall County continues to grow in population, looking for a “sustainable and reliable water source” for Oswego, and with consideration for Yorkville and Montgomery.
One study focused on the Fox River as a source, while the other looked at connecting to the DuPage Water Commission that would pipe in water from Lake Michigan.
In 2020, Joliet approached the village to provide an alternative source of water from Lake Michigan through a pipeline currently in the design phase that is anticipated to be operating in 2030.
“Joliet is requiring commitment on the part of municipalities who wish to connect by January 2022 (previously May 2021),” the memo read.
An additional possibility came from Plainfield, offering a connection through their supplier, Illinois American Water.
“Each option has different requirements, restrictions, capital costs, financing options, fee structures, etc.,” Hughes’ memo continued. A sense of urgency was felt on the part of village staff due to the time limit placed on a response to Joliet’s offer, according to Hughes.
The timeline began at the June 8 meeting of the board, where a reflection on the purpose behind the project and an examination of the different options was presented by village staff and consultants. Details of the available options and necessary considerations, and a presentation on conservation methods will be brought to the board at upcoming committee of the whole meetings.
A joint public meeting for the Yorkville, Oswego and Montgomery communities will be held at an undetermined date, followed by a presentation of the cost analysis between options.
A final presentation will be made to the board at its Nov. 16 meeting, with a decision expected before the end of the year, according to the timeline. If the village chooses to go with the option provided by the city of Joliet, an ordinance adopting the decision would be presented at the Dec. 14 meeting of the board.