Lake Zurich officials will consider switching from well to Lake Michigan water

  • The Lake Zurich village board will consider a report on what it would take and how much it will cost to switch from wells to Lake Michigan water.

      The Lake Zurich village board will consider a report on what it would take and how much it will cost to switch from wells to Lake Michigan water. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Updated 3/31/2023 4:18 PM

A key step in the process of bringing Lake Michigan water to Lake Zurich is expected Monday with the presentation of a consultant's findings and recommendations.

Representatives from CDM Smith will suggest improvements needed for the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency to deliver Lake Michigan water to replace wells as the village's water source.


Village officials have not made a decision but methodically have been pursuing information to determine the feasibility and estimated costs of extending Lake Michigan water, which has been described as a "sustainable healthy and economical water source."

"This step will help the board and the residents understand the costs and funding mechanisms associated with the proposal," said Mayor Tom Poynton.

The board will hear and discuss the CDM presentation during its meeting at 7 p.m. at village hall, 70 E. Main St.

In September, the village approved an agreement with CLC JAWA to share engineering fees to determine the feasibility, method and cost of delivering Lake Michigan water to Lake Zurich.

Based in Lake Bluff, CLC JAWA became operational in 1992 and now delivers Lake Michigan water to nearly two dozen communities and unincorporated areas.

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CDM Smith, a Boston-based engineering and construction firm, was hired in November at a not-to-exceed cost of about $130,000 to assess the village's water distribution system, determine what facilities would be needed and provide cost estimates.

Recommendations will include facilities needed to maintain the water system pressure, fire flows and other criteria. Monday's overview of the project will discuss what infrastructure improvements would be needed, how the project would be phased and estimated costs.

Details of the findings were not provided in advance. Whether they will make or break the desire of village officials to continue pursuing Lake Michigan water is to be determined, Poynton said.

After the presentation and discussion, village staff will seek board direction on whether to advance to the next phase of the project.

The village gets its water from deep wells, where radium naturally is occurring. According to the village, switching to Lake Michigan water may be an option to avoid costly operational or maintenance upgrades that may be required as local, state and federal regulations are updated.

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