by Dennis Sullivan
Feb. 11, 2014
A desk-sized device could be key to a new system that would bring Crete village well water more in line with the Lake Michigan product enjoyed by other communities.
The self-cleaning microfiber water-filter will part of a 12-week pilot program at Well No. 9 expected to begin before spring.
The program was discussed at Monday’s village board meeting during a presentation by two representatives from HR Green, a national company specializing in municipal water systems.
The pilot program would have three goals:
- Demonstrate the system’s performance,
- Demonstrate the system’s appropriateness to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and
- Verify the system is going to fit Crete’s particular application.
Ed Coggin, a senior project manager at HR Green said Crete’s water currently has five times the recommended level of iron.
That high concentration, although not harmful, translates into smells and stains that have prompted some citizen complaints.
It also became a campaign issue in the spring 2013 village election that prompted Crete Mayor Mike Einhorn to respond.
Writing in a Feb. 24, 2013 blog post, Einhorn said Crete residents pay among the lowest water rates in the area.
“[I]mproving the (village’s water) quality is an expensive proposition and will require a very significant rate increase,” he said.
At Monday’s village board meeting, Einhorn said elected officials would probably know by July if the proposed system was the right one. At that point, he said, trustees would have to reach out to residents on the issue of funding.
“We know we cannot afford it under our current fee structure,” he said.
Edward J. “Eddie” McCall, senior project manager at HR Green, said the new system would produce a water product that “would match Lake Michigan quality.”
McCall said the alternative to the product manufactured by Oxnard, California-based Amiad Water Systems is more expensive and doesn’t do as good of a job.
Trustee Steve Johnson said the village independently selected HR Green and the Amiad product.
Johnson, who investigated systems used by other municipalities, as well as companies that specialize in municipal water systems, stressed, HR Green “didn’t steer us in any way at all.”
Assuming no problems, the special filter — described by Einhorn as “about the size of a desk — would be installed at municipal wells 4, 8 and 9.
Responding to a question from Resident Dave Young, Village Engineer Bill Steffen said installation would be “staggered.”
All three wells would feed into a central distribution facility — probably in an industrial area south of Burville Road between Dixie Highway and State Street.
Einhorn, responding to a question from Resident Steve Beauvoir, said wells 3 and 6 would be taken out of active service and used only “if something catastrophic” occurred.
Original material copyright 2014 Eastern Will County News; all rights reserved.
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