Antioch has already spent about $80,000 on the Lake Michigan water project, but $25,000 of that was to secure the lake water allocation from Illinois Department of Natural Resources. | Sun-Times Media file
Updated: February 4, 2014 2:37AM
More than a year ago village officials pulled out of the Northwest Lake County Lake Michigan Water Planning Group. This week they agreed to look at other options to bring Lake Michigan water to the village.
The group worked together for six years before disbanding, with the majority opting to join Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency. Antioch was not offered a contract with the agency because of their geographic location and a limited lake water supply that could be provided by the agency located in Lake Bluff.
Antioch received an allocation of lake water in 2011 from the Illinois Department of Resources. It is a coveted allocation and Village Administrator James Keim said leaders agree the timing is right to explore alternatives to bring lake water and replace the current well water system.
The village has already spent about $80,000 on the Lake Michigan water project, but $25,000 of that was to secure the lake water allocation from Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
“We have our allocation. That is a great accomplishment,” said Keim. “I think now we may have several alternatives to evaluate of how treated Lake Michigan water could be pumped and delivered to the village’s existing distribution system,’ he said, adding he wants to conduct a feasibility and cost study of alternatives with qualified engineering consultants.
The first step is finding a consultant by early 2014, then aim for a complete study by March 31.
“The broad objective ... is to identify and evaluate three alternatives of how treated lake water could be pumped and delivered to the village,” said Keim.
The study would also identify any municipalities along the possible transmission routes that might be interested in cost sharing.
“I want us to get the best possible estimates of costs for all possible alternatives,” said Trustee George Sakas, who said the previous efforts by the former water planning group were vague. “We need better numbers to evaluate before we move forward.”
Trustee Scott Pierce, who has objected to lake water project, said he would at least support looking at a variety of sources.
“Exploring all options make sense,” he said.