Lake Michigan water line to 250,000 in Lake County to be shut off, but they may not notice

  • Water pumps at the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency facility in Lake Bluff.

    Water pumps at the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency facility in Lake Bluff. Daily Herald file photo

Updated 6/14/2019 5:11 PM

The supply of Lake Michigan water to about 250,000 people in several Lake County communities will be shut off next week to replace a leaking valve, but residents aren't expected to notice a difference.

"We're trying to do it in a day," said Bill Soucie, acting executive director of the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency. "They'll work on it nonstop until it's done."


The repair is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday and expected to last two days but could be shorter or longer depending on the repair work and required follow-up testing.

While the repair is considered routine, members of the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency are filling water towers, readying standby plans and alerting residents.

"As long as the testing goes OK and the repairs are done, it shouldn't be an issue," said Libertyville Mayor Terry Weppler, the village's representative on the JAWA board. "If for some reason they have to rechlorinate (the system), it could take longer so we're just going to be super cautious."

Libertyville on Friday morning posted a notice on its website saying the village will supply water from reserve reservoirs and emergency backup wells. The water will be safe to drink, according to the village, but users may notice a slight change in the color, odor or taste of the water because it is coming from wells.

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Lindenhurst residents received a similar message, saying that depending on how long the repairs take, the village may have to use standby wells, which create a brief discoloration of the water. If that source is needed, the village will do preventive flushing before using that water to minimize potential problems, residents have been told.

Lake County, which supplies water to unincorporated Grandwood Park and Fox Lake Hills, has alerted customers to conserve water and store water they may need and that there is a possibility of a boil order notice after the work is completed.

Soucie said an auxiliary valve on a pipe extending from the transmission line to a fire hydrant in the Rondout area is leaking.

"We have to stop the flow of water to the water main that feeds the ancillary valve," Soucie said. "No residents will be without water because the communities will use the water in their tanks. People should not notice anything."

While there is a single 48-inch diameter water transmission line for Lake Michigan water, JAWA members also have access to water through wells, storage or connections to other entities, he added.

"It's actually a pretty resilient system," he said.

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