Springfield City Council To Vote On Water Study Contract

Springfield’s public utility is seeking approval from the City Council to hire a private firm to test wells and gravel pits that could serve as additional water sources in times of drought.

The tests will determine whether City Water Light and Power can draw from an area aquifer without negatively impacting nearby communities such as Riverton, Buffalo or Dawson.   Studying the environmental impact of any supplemental water sources is required by the EPA.

CWLP Water Division manager Ted Meckes [interview below] says the tests will move the city one small step closer to a decision on whether or not Springfield can – or should – build a second lake to meet its growing demand for water: 

MECKES: “We want the science to tell us. If they come back and say ‘you can get 20 million gallons a day out of [the aquifer] – because Hunter Lake’s demand is around 23 million gallons a day – if we can get close to that number, [the aquifer is] something that we’d probably pursue.”

Meckes last week told city leaders that testing of wells and gravel pits could begin as soon as weather allows and could be concluded within three months.

Aldermen are expected to vote tonight to approve the testing, which would be paid for out of the utility’s Water Improvement Fund.

As heard on Illinois Edition:

CWLP Water Division Manager Ted Meckes sat down with Peter Gray to talk about the search for more water to meet a growing city’s needs – beginning with a brief history of plans for Hunter Lake, a second body of water first proposed decades ago:

[.mp3 -7:06]

The Decatur City Council voted unanimously Monday night to increase water rates for new wells and other ways to supplement Lake Decatur, that city’s primary water source.

If you missed our conversation with City Manager Ryan McCrady explaining the new water plan and what changes customers will soon see to their bills, you will find it HERE.

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