Click here for the PDF of the presentation made to the Village Board on May 4, 2022.
Click here to watch the video of the May 4th presentation.
The Village relies on a deep sandstone aquifer for a portion of its water supply, and a shallow dolomite aquifer for the other portion. Recent studies have revealed that both aquifers are not viable long term sources for the Village’s potable water supply.
The shallow dolomite aquifer is rapidly recharged from rainfall, so water quantity is sustainable for the long term. However, the ability for surface events to rapidly recharge the aquifer also creates increased susceptibility to contamination through human activities. Deicing operations in the parking lots and roadways throughout the Chicagoland area have lead to steadily increasing chloride levels. The Village is able to maintain excellent and compliant water quality for now, but as time goes, these wells may have to be turned off to maintain compliance with regulatory standards for drinking water. You can read more about these challenges here.
The deep sandstone aquifer is not recharged rapidly, if at all, prior to a brief study completed by Illinois State Water Survey in 2018, it was believed that the aquifer was sustainable up to and possibly beyond the year 2070. After the study’s findings, the Village of Romeoville joined with many of the other communities in the region using the deep sandstone aquifer to commission a more in depth study by the Illinois State Water Survey. They created and calibrated a computerized groundwater model which, in late 2019 revealed that some portions of the area may start to dewater the aquifer as soon as 2030. It indicated that Romeoville’s sandstone withdrawals are not sustainable come 2040-2070. That report can be read here.
In response, the group of affected communities have partnered together to discuss possible solutions to address the concern raised in the State Water Survey. In addition, communities individually analyzed solutions to determine what is the best fit for their municipality. By acting now, communities are able to analyze choices that may not necessarily be available in the future. No matter which source is selected, Lake Michigan water will not begin flowing to Romeoville until after 2030. There are permits to obtain, contracts to negotiate, plans to be developed, and infrastructure to be built. It is a lengthy process, to say the least. This is why it is so important to be taking these steps now when Romeoville's risk of a depleted water supply is still so far away.
Select from the topics below to learn more about the journey to a new water source for the Village of Romeoville.