Water, water everywhere but some
still from wells
By Deborah Laverty
Northwest Indiana Times
MERRILLVILLE -- Tapping into Lake Michigan water for Mike
Atwood will soon be as easy as turning on a faucet inside
his Independence Hill subdivision home.
"I'm looking forward to it," Atwood said.
It's been a long wait.
Atwood has lived in Merrillville for more than 25 years
and he and his family have relied on a private well as
their source of water.
Not that he's complaining.
He said he's not had a lot of problems with his well
water and will continue to use it for such things as watering
his lawn and washing his car.
Atwood is hoping that tying into Lake Michigan water
will add to the property values in his neighborhood and
he won't have to use water softeners to the extent he
"We moved in here in 1975 and have well water right
now ... I hope that getting Lake Michigan water will increase
the resale of my house. A lot of people don't want anything
to do with well water," Atwood said.
Town Councilman Joe Shudick, D-3rd, who represents the
Independence Hill area, said the area where Atwood and
his family live was identified three years ago as in need
of Lake Michigan water due to a lack of quality water
and for fire protection.
Shudick, a volunteer firefighter, worked to get a grant
so that two more fire hydrants could be installed at Marshall
and Independence streets.
" We couldn't do it without grants. It would strap
us for years," Shudick said.
The $500,000 grant for the Independence Hill project
was funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and
Residents in a four-block area, from 78th Avenue to U.S.
30 and along Marshall and Independence streets, will soon
be going from well water to water provided by the Indiana
American Water Co., Shudick said.
The project, which is being completed by Hobart-based
Boyd Construction Co., is approximately two-thirds completed,
"There are still several areas of town that don't
have water," Shudick said.
Town Manager Rick DalCorobbo said that town officials
applied in early May for two more federal grants, to be
earmarked for water installation, and have not heard back
He said a study conducted four years ago showed there
are still approximately 10 areas throughout town that
have well water instead of Lake Michigan water.
The cost to pay for the entire town to hook up to Lake
Michigan water has been estimated at close to $3 million.
As grants become available, town officials will continue
to address those needs, DalCorobbo said. "We're trying
to attack each one the best we can."