Lake Michigan water issue delayed
By Mick Zawislak
Daily Herald (IL)
Published October 29th, 2004
Providing Lake Michigan water to about 500 families east
of Libertyville may be possible, the agency in charge
of the system says, but more research is needed.
The Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency deferred
action on the request Wednesday. The agency asked its
executive committee to examine supply problems and the
cost for the residents to hook onto the Green Oaks system.
The decision followed a lengthy discussion about providing
water outside the agency's service area.
"It's always been an issue of capacity," said
Libertyville Mayor Duane Laska, who chairs the water agency
board. "We're just looking to make a decision, and
to make a good decision, you have to have all the facts."
Lake County, a member of the joint action water agency,
requested about 100,000 gallons of water per day to residents
in the Countryside Manor, Libertyville Estates, Ashford
Trails and Terre Fair subdivisions.
Radium has been found in the well water, and the county,
as the operator, has to have a new system installed by
April 2006. The joint action water agency pumps about
20 million gallons of water a day, which would hardly
dent the supply, the county says.
The request was denied in the spring but was reconsidered
after the county compiled a new analysis of demand based
on growth and population.
On peak demand days, which occur a few times every couple
of years, Lake County says the system would have 6.7 million
gallons to spare. Agency estimates made in 1996 showed
a deficit of 4.6 million gallons, but the estimates are
"We need to get to the bottom line. Do we have 6
million gallons of extra capacity or are we short 4 million?"
The agency has a contractual obligation to its members,
he said, and if it is short, needs to find ways to address
the problem, such as greater storage capacity, for example.
According to water agency rules, areas that annex into
a member community are automatically accepted into the
system. The county is a special case because it included
only some of its water systems when it joined the agency,
and so it needs board approval to extend service to any
part of the system.
Several options have been considered for the subdivisions
near Libertyville, but the joint action water agency option
is the most cost-effective.
Green Oaks, which gets its lake water from Waukegan,
has offered to supply the residents, but it would come
at a premium price, according to the county.
A majority of board members said they supported the county's
request if studies showed it could be done.
"I'd like to have a few more of the technical questions
answered and verified," said Grayslake Mayor Tim
Perry. "I'm in favor of doing this."
The board voted 9-0 to send the matter to the executive
committee, which is scheduled to make its report in December.