Currently the Village of South Elgin draws its potable water from wells located around the community. We utilize three different aquifers and a variety of treatment facilities. This variety offers a few advantages, most notably affordability and the versatility to shift and blend water supply sources. But it also has its drawbacks. Mixing water from different treatment paths can produce inconsistent water quality.

Of more significance, the Village became aware in April 2021 that our shallow fresh water wells contain trace amounts of PFAS and PFOA, known as forever chemicals (note: most other shallow water supplies in the U.S. contain the same chemicals). Although EPA standards and regulations have not yet been written to address these chemicals, the Village began taking the pre-emptive steps to mitigate the presence of PFAS and PFOA while also addressing the Board of Trustees eagerness to improve water quality for all South Elgin residents.

The entire scope of the project will cost approximately $10 million. The Village secured $3.4 million of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act and will fund the rest without increasing property taxes. After three years of financial planning, engineering, overcoming site challenges and an open bidding process, the estimated two-year project will begin Spring 2024.

These are the steps:

  1. The Village awarded the winning bid to Chicago Bridge and Iron to build a 1.25 million gallon tank near the intersection of Kingsport and Ione.
  2. Once the new tower is complete and functioning, the water tower northwest of the McLean and Spring intersection will be demolished (projected timeline late 2024).
  3. At the site of the demolished water tower, the Village will oversee drilling new, deeper well (approximately 1800 feet deep - or six times deeper than our shallow wells). This will yield higher-quality water without forever chemicals (projected timeline 2025).
  4. Once the new, deep-aquifer well is functional, the Village will abandon the lower-quality shallow wells with expectations of providing significantly better quality water Village-wide with an added bonus of reduced corrosivity; a benefit for the lifespan of coffee makers, dishwashers and water heaters throughout the Village.

Questions about the project can be steered to the Public Works Director at 847-695-2742.