Over 150 people attended Joliet’s water source forum at Cantigny VFW Post in Joliet on Thursday night. Joliet’s water source is drying up and a new source is being studied. Over the last 17 months city staff and engineers have been looking at various sources, based on cost, sustainability, quality, maintenance and more; two viable options are Lake Michigan and the Illinois River.
One source not being considered is the Des Plaines River which runs through the city. The Des Plaines River was ruled out early in the process as many thought it was too dirty to be a viable drinking source.
The City of Joliet uses 18-million gallons of water a day. Due to the growing population, estimated water usage by 2050 will be 25-28 million gallons of water used each day.
The Joliet City Council is expected to vote on a new water source in the new year. Currently, Joliet residents pay $31 a month for water. Whichever water source is built, it’s clear it will cost residents more per month. An informational sheet stated, if the Illinois River is chosen, a pipeline would have to be built at Dresden Pool and it would cost $42 dollars a month. If Lake Michigan is chosen and a pipeline to Hammond, Indiana is built it would cost $68.
Joliet’s aquifer has been used since 1907. There are many steps to go through, first the city would have to acquire land,and then build a pipeline to the water source. It’s a complete overhaul of the Joliet system.