After a long period of analysis and discussion, Village of Romeoville staff and consultants presented their recommendation to the Village Board to join the Regional Water Commission as the source for Lake Michigan water. Romeoville would join Channahon, Crest Hill, Joliet, Minooka, Rockdale (through Joliet), and Shorewood in this new commission.
Due to the Illinois Water Survey finding, Romeoville was found to be one of the municipalities in the surrounding area that could see a rise in water demand beyond what is available by 2050. Because of these findings, several new water sources were explored. River options were eliminated because the water was unsustainable and the cost to treat the water would be too high. Other Lake Michigan sources were eliminated due to cost and other factors.
“This was a lengthy process, but I greatly appreciate all the hard work our team has done in evaluating the best water option for the Village,” said Mayor John Noak.
There are multiple benefits in joining the Regional Water Commission for Lake Michigan water. Because Romeoville will be one of six communities involved, the costs of construction, treatment, and the purchase price of water will be shared among the entire group, providing a lower cost to all members. In addition, Romeoville’s location means the supply transmission main from Chicago will run through the village. This puts Romeoville at the beginning of the supply line and minimizes internal system improvements.
Lake Michigan water won’t begin flowing until at least 2030, as there is still additional permitting as well as final design and construction. Once complete, residents can expect a high-quality water source with a proven track record and natural softness. The project includes construction of a new direct pipeline from the City of Chicago and local internal enhancements, like additional storage tanks and water main improvements. When done, Romeoville will be the second largest user of the new system, accounting for 11.25% of the total demand.
No immediate impact on water bills are anticipated from this initiative. After total project completion, it is estimated that the average consumer using 6,000 gallons of water should only see a $6-$10 rise in their monthly water bill by 2030. All customers will continue to receive their bills from the Village of Romeoville.
The Regional Water Commission was the best option when the following factors were evaluated: cost, water quality, sustainability, implementation, operation, maintenance, and governance. The entire project is being built based on the estimated needs of the region in 2050 and beyond. This is a decision that secures the future of Romeoville’s water needs.