Frequently Asked Questions


 

Why didn’t the Village choose lake water or some other source for water?


The Village from the late 1980’s through 2008 has looked extensively at various upgrades to the Village's water production system including options for moving to lake water.

The Village Board and various commissions and committees reviewed options to move to lake water during the following periods. During each of these periods the community elected to continue using its aquifer system.
  • 1983
  • 1988
  • 1998
  • 2008
From 1998 to 2008 the Village conducted extensive research on various options for rehabilitating the Village’s aging water treatment plant. Over a nearly ten year period a Water Study Group comprised of current and former elected officials, Village Staff and water industry professionals developed a report reviewing and comparing the various factors associated with different water source and treatment options. Public meetings to discuss the report and receive public input were conducting during 2007 and 2008. In 2008 that report was published by the Village and can be found at the links below.

2008 Water Study Group Report


Water Study Report - 2008 Ad Hoc Water Group Water Study Report Appendix 01 - Lake Water
Water Study Report Appendix 02 - Lime Processing
Water Study Report Appendix 03- Reverse Osmosis
Water Study Report Appendix 04 - History
Water Study Report Appendix 05 - Status of Equipment
Water Study Report Appendix 06 - Quantitative Benefits
Water Study Report Appendix 07 - Contributors and Members
 

How is the Village's water infrastructure funded?

The Village operates using fund accounting. A fund is a self-balancing set of accounts, segregated for specific purposes in accordance with laws and regulations or special restrictions and limitations.Each fund has a distinct purpose, ranging from operating expenses to funding the various activities or capital project of the organization. Fund accounting is a system of accounting which emphasizes accountability rather than profitability and monies from various funds cannot be transferred to other funds.

The water fund, which handles all of the Village's operational and capital expenses for water production and distribution is an enterprise fund. An enterprise fund establishes a separate accounting and financial reporting mechanism for municipal services for which a fee is charged in exchange for goods or services. Under enterprise accounting, the revenues in expenditures of services are separated into separate funds with its own financial statements, rather than commingled with the revenues and expenses of all other government activities.Water and sewer infrastructure has been funded by general obligation debt and low interest IEPA loans that are repaid through user charges from the enterprise fund.

More detailed information regarding the Village's budget can be found through the Finance Department and the annual budget.

How often is maintenance required on the Village's wells?

Maintenance on the Village's well system is typically infrequent. Approximately every ten to fifteen years the wells do need to be pulled and reconditioned. This reconditioning typically involves the reconditioning of the well pipe, inspection and reconditioning of the pump well and motor, and inspection of the well shaft.

Maintenance typically takes approximately six weeks depending upon the volume of work needing to be done. Below is information on when each of the wells have last been reconditioned.

  • Well #1 - 2014
  • Well #3 - 2015
  • Well #4 - 2010
Wasn’t the construction of the new reverse osmosis plant supposed to fix problems with our distribution system?
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) currently rates the United States’ water infrastructure as “poor”. Water production systems across the country have infrastructure that was constructed during the mid-20th century and those systems are now reaching the end of their life. Much of the Village’s infrastructure for the water system dates from the 1960’s or earlier and improvements to Village’s system began with the reconstruction of our new water treatment plant. Further improvements to the entire distribution system will be needed, all of which would require upgrades regardless if the Village was on aquifer or lake water. These upgrades include improvements to the Village’s water towers, residential meters, and water mains.
The Village’s water fund is an enterprise fund and improvements are not paid for with property tax dollars. The Village also does not have a large sales tax base to supplement funding so improvements to the water infrastructure are funded almost entirely through the water bills. Unfortunately water infrastructure is also one of the most expensive to replace and upgrade. The replacement of one block of water main costs approximately $100,000 and with nearly 52 miles of main within the community there is a substantial capital investment which will be required moving forward.
Information regarding the Village’s water infrastructure can be found in the 2014 Water Infrastructure Report. Additional information on the United States’ water infrastructure can be found on the ASCE 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.

Does this Village have emergency connections to other communities?

Yes, the Village does have emergency connections to other communities. Those connections are only to be utilized under emergency situations and can only be used for short periods of time. The connections are not large enough and the communities do not have the infrastructure provide the Village water for extended periods.

How can I receive updates regarding this project and other Village news?


Updated information regarding the Village construction projects is posted on the Village website at www.wsprings.com. Residents can sign up for the email or text notifications for either the “Community News” or the “Municipal Services Department” section on the site under "Notify Me". Both sections are receiving updates ongoing projects in the Village. Clicking on the “Notify Me” button on the right hand side of the Village website will take you to the signup page.