Illinois Drought: Update – September 9, 2005, Illinois State Water Survey

Illinois Drought Update







·        The Illinois Commerce Commission only regulates 44 investor-owned water utilities serving approximately 350,000 water customers. These utilities collectively operate about one hundred systems throughout the State of Illinois. The Commission does not regulate municipal water systems or water systems owned by homeowners associations. The EPA regulates about 1,800 (as of 7/27/05) public water suppliers throughout the State.


·        Only three investor-owned water utilities collectively serve over 10,000 customers in the State of Illinois: Illinois-American Water Company, Aqua Illinois, and Utilities, Inc. These utilities collectively serve 98% of the investor-owned water utilities’ customers in the State.  The majority of Commission regulated water utilities are small well systems. These three investor-owned water utilities were contacted to assess the effects of the drought on their water systems.



Illinois-American Water Company


Illinois-American Water Company is the largest investor-owned water utility in the State of Illinois serving 267,000 customers throughout the state with water facilities in the Chicago Metro Area, Champaign, Pontiac, Sterling, Streator, Lincoln, Pekin, Peoria, Alton, Cairo, and the Interurban District in East St. Louis and Granite City.


There are no new drought related incidents for Illinois-American this reporting period; the incidents from the previous reporting periods are still in place.  They are as follows: Illinois-American reported that the Mississippi River, which is the source water for their East St. Louis plant, is still running low and predictions are that it is going even lower.  The Company does not expect a problem with continued service. The East St. Louis plant serves East St. Louis, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O'Fallon, Caseyville, Waterloo, and Milstadt. They are taking steps to install temporary pumping equipment to ensure a continuous supply is available to this water plant. The pumping equipment would essentially be a temporary extension of their water intake into the river.


Customers in the Alpine Heights, Fernway, and Liberty West service areas of Illinois-American’s Chicago Metro Division have had water restrictions implemented.  These service areas receive Lake Michigan water, which is purchased from other communities. The outside communities have implemented the restrictions on Illinois-American. Each service area has a lake water allocation which limits the amount of water drawn during high demand periods.  Also, factors such as storage and pumping limitations during periods of high demand affect the restrictions.  Oak Lawn provides lake water to the Alpine Heights and Fernway service areas, and the Dupage Water Commission, through the City of Winfield, provides lake water to the Liberty West service area.


Illinois-American Service Area

Number of Customers

Date Restrictions began

Alpine Heights


July 11, 2005



June 26, 2005

Liberty West


July 7, 2005


Alpine Heights has a ban on total outside water use, except for flower and shrub watering during certain times of the day.  Fernway has a total outside watering ban, and Liberty West has odd/even day/address watering.  The restrictions are in effect until further notice and Illinois American Water Company anticipates that the restrictions will be in place until we get some measurable precipitation.


Aqua Illinois


The second largest investor-owned water utility, Aqua Illinois, serves 55,000 customers in their Candlewick, Hawthorn Woods, Ivanhoe, Kankakee, Oak Run, University Park, Vermilion, Willowbrook, and Woodhaven Divisions in the northern half of the State.


There are no new drought related incidents for Aqua Illinois this reporting period; however Aqua’s Hawthorn Woods system continues to have water restrictions put on it by the Village of Hawthorn Woods.  The Village of Hawthorn Woods issued an alternate day water sprinkling restriction which affected customers of Aqua Illinois, who are located in the Village of Hawthorn Woods. The Village issued the precautionary restriction because of approximately 6,000 private wells located in the Village. Aqua Illinois did not issue a separate water restriction since their water supply was adequate and peak demand had not been reached.


Utilities, Inc.


Utilities, Inc has 22 small water utilities scattered in the Northern half of the State with a combined 15,000 customers statewide. These water utilities all operate small well systems with one being purchased water.


There are no drought related incidents this reporting period.




There are no new drought related incidents for investor-owned water utilities for this reporting period.  Previous reported situations resulting from the drought continue. The water restrictions experienced by Commission regulated utilities is the result of outside factors such as other community restrictions.  Both the investor-owned water utilities and the Commission are closely monitoring the situation and the effects the drought may have on utility customers. While the water supply has been adequate for investor owned water utilities and there are limited water restrictions at this time, the outlook for investor-owned water utilities appears to be heavily dependent on the temperature, precipitation level, and resulting water usage.

Illinois Drought

Illinois State Water Survey

2204 Griffith Dr
Champaign, IL 61820-7463

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