Drought Vulnerability of Illinois' Community Surface Water Systems, Illinois State Water Survey

Illinois Drought


System Information

System Description

Water is typically pumped from Lake Charleston, a low channel dam impoundment in the Embarras River, to the Charleston Side Channel Reservoir (CSCR), an off-channel reservoir, at 4,000 gpm before being relayed to the community's new 4.5 mgd treatment plant at up to 3,125 gpm. If necessary, two pumps can fill the off-channel reservoir at 7,500 gpm.

Satellite Communities and Water Districts

Eastern Illinois University and Long Acre Estates
Locator map for Charleston

Population Served:





Water Source
Name Type Stream DA (sq mi) SA (ac) Capacity Year Est. Est. 2010 Cap. (ac-ft)
Lake Charleston RW Embarras R 786 94 226 226
Off-Channel Res. OCR Embarras R Trib 1.77 339 2871 1988 2871

1989 Study:

50-year drought yield sufficient at present level of water use.

USGS Gages:

Embarras River near Diona (03344000) and at Ste. Marie (03345500)

Developments since 1989:

A new treatment plant eliminated a chronic taste and odor problem in 2005. Several CSCR locations have received shoreline erosion treatment since 1991, and a sedimentation basin was built in its northwest cove. Eastern Illinois University implemented a conservation program 2006. There are plans to build an emergency connection with Mattoon.
Chart of Annual Raw Water Production (mgd)
Note: *Poor meter locations in old treatment plant may have overestimated production by 0.3 mgd prior to April 2005.

Notes and Terminology

Vulnerability Report

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Illinois State Water Survey

2204 Griffith Dr., MC-674
Champaign, IL 61820-7463
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