New Water Source
Our region's source of drinking water is a deep underground reservoir, or aquifer. According to the Illinois Office of Water Resources, water is being withdrawn twice as fast as it is being replenished. Quite simply, we will run out of fresh drinking water sometime within the next twenty years. The Villages of Oswego and Montgomery have joined with the United City of Yorkville to evaluate potential sources of water to sustain our beautiful communities.
The City of Yorkville, along with our partners from the Village of Montgomery and the Village of Oswego, hired water engineering consultants to identify an alternate water source. These potential sources include piping water from Lake Michigan or constructing a water treatment plant on the Fox River. Either option will likely increase the cost of water, but will guarantee a supply of fresh drinking water for following generations. Doing nothing, including preventing future growth in the region, is not a viable option.
We studied these three options to get to Lake Michigan water: DuPage Water Commission, forming a new water commission with the City of Joliet, or connecting to Illinois American water near the Village of Plainfield. Each option has pros and cons to be considered that go beyond the cost of connection.
The informational presentation that was provided at the September 28, 2021 City Council Meeting can be found here.
Decision Making Process
Throughout 2021, the Yorkville City Council discussed the water source information to inform themselves and the community about the options. The goal was to reach a select a new water source by the end of 2021. The need to make the decision in this timeframe was driven by the diminishing water supply; the desire to avoid costly system improvements if a new source is not selected; and the established timeframe to join the new water commission being developed by Joliet, if the City desires to pursue this alternative. A matrix was created for those who wished to compare the different water sources. You can find that matrix here. At the end of 2021, the City Council did vote to move forward with Lake Michigan as the future water source.
The City’s water rates increased on September 1, 2022, and will be on January 1, 2023, in response to costs associated with the upcoming switch to a Lake Michigan water source. On September 1, 2022, the bi-monthly minimum water charge for the first 350 cubic feet is $24, and on January 1, 2023, the volumetric rate will increase to $4.80 per 100 cubic feet used thereafter. These water rate increases are the first increases since May 1, 2016, are expected to cost the average homeowner less than $10 per month ($20 per billing cycle) and are associated with the Lake Michigan water project. We anticipate water rates will need to be increased at a greater amount over the next few years to expense Yorkville’s portion of the estimated $90,000,000+ project cost.
The City Council and Staff are working closely with the WaterLink Team (Oswego & Montgomery) to finalize IGA and legislation to execute the formal commitment to the DuPage Water Commission for future water sourcing. The United City of Yorkville is sharing resources and planning efforts with the Village of Montgomery and the Village of Oswego in an effort to reduce the cost of the project on Yorkville residents in addition to seeking funding from the State and Federal government. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we transition to a more sustainable water resource and continuing to provide our residents with the water quality you deserve.