Joliet plans to replace all water mains built before 1970

City will provide update on Lake Michigan water project in virtual public meeting on Thursday

Joliet plans to replace all water mains built before 1970 as part of the Lake Michigan water project.

The mains will be replaced as part of the city’s efforts to reduce water loss in its system to 10% by 2030, Utilities Director Allison Swisher told a Joliet City Council committee on Monday.

The city will provide more updates on the Lake Michigan water project during a virtual update meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday that the public can access by visiting rethinkwaterjoliet.org.

Replacing older mains prone to leaks and breaks is one of the major projects in reducing water loss, which now is at 28%. Municipalities receiving Lake Michigan water are required to reduce water loss to 10% or less.

“The great news is that by 2030 our water system is going to be pretty top-notch, having no water mains older than 1970,” Swisher told the Public Service Committee.

The city plans to replace 20 miles of water mains a year between 2022 and 2030 at a cost of $34 million annually, Swisher said. The city currently is applying for a federal loan program to help fund both the water main replacement and the system being designed to bring Lake Michigan from the city of Chicago to Joliet.

Joliet plans to replace its well system with Lake Michigan water by 2030.

Bob Okon

Bob Okon covers local government for The Herald-News