Bartlett's full transition to Lake Michigan water is expected in 2019
Construction of the Lake Michigan Receiving Station project is being funded through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) State Revolving Fund (SRF). The SRF program is administered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and receives a portion of its money to fund these types of projects from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
This Village of Bartlett project consists of the construction of two 1,500,000 gallon ground storage tanks; a water booster station with seven pumps; a sodium hypochlorite feed system with three chemical feed pumps; and installation of approximately 293 linear feet of 24-inch diameter water main, 264 linear feet of 18-inch diameter water main, and 537 linear feet of 16-inch diameter water main at the location of the water receiving station that will connect Bartlett with the DuPage Water Commission to receive water from Lake Michigan.
October 12, 2018 Update - Construction for the water receiving station continues with crews beginning to pour concrete for the walls.
Also, Benchmark, the company installing the new water mains is now officially in Bartlett. The crews have crossed County Farm Road and have reached Nicole Drive.
September 2018 Update - During the Tuesday, 9/4 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Village Board discussed the third part of a planned incremental increase in water rates that is anticipated to begin with the May 1, 2019 bills. This proposed increase would occur at approximately the same time that the construction associated with the Lake Michigan water transition is completed and loan payments for the project begin.
The three most recent rounds of rate hikes follow a five-year period when water rates remained unchanged. During this five-year halt – from 2012 to 2017 - the Village Board held off on its routine, biennial reviews of water and sewer rates as trustees discussed Bartlett’s move to a new water source. On February 7, 2017, the board finalized an agreement to purchase Lake Michigan water through the DuPage Water Commission.
A water rate increase would have occurred even if Bartlett had opted to renegotiate its water purchase contract with the City of Elgin. However the transition to Lake Michigan water requires engineering and water main replacement costs, which account for a substantial portion of the rate hike.
The proposed rate per 1,000 gallons of water will be $11.76, up from $9.70. This rate is in line with the figures that were projected in the Potable Water Study Update, November 3, 2016. That study shows that if the Village had chosen to move to 100% Elgin water, there would have been only a 6-cent difference in the rate per 1,000 gallons, ($11.70 for 100% Elgin water versus the $11.76 rate now anticipated for May 2019). The study further shows that the current rate the Village is looking at, $11.76, is lower than the original rate estimated for water through the DuPage Water Commission.
For a household that averages 6,000 gallons of monthly water use, the increased rate translates to $12.36 more per month on the water portion of the bill.
Before the 2017 increase, Bartlett’s water and sewer rates ranked in the bottom third compared to 26 neighboring communities that were surveyed. The Village's most recent review of water rates in 16 area communities, shows that Bartlett's rates will continue to be lower than several neighbor municipalities, including the City of Elgin.
Going forward, rates will need to be reviewed annually as infrastructure improvements continue, but these incremental increases will be offset once the water connection is complete in May 2019 and residents realize savings from the removal of their water softeners.
“The DuPage Water Commission has provided its members a high quality and reliable water supply for many years. We are excited to join the other communities in the commission, and we look forward to next spring, when Bartlett gets connected to Lake Michigan water,” said Village President Kevin Wallace.
August 2018 Update - DuPage Water Commission’s 30-inch transmission main has been installed from Central Avenue in Roselle to Lake Street and Greenbrook Boulevard. Benchmark Construction has also installed the main from Greenbrook Court to County Farm Road, and soon will be completing the section under Lake Street. Then construction will proceed west along Stearns Road to Bittersweet Drive.
The Village and DuPage Water Commission amended their agreements to issue a change order to Benchmark Construction for the Village’s 24-inch and 16-inch water main that will extend west along Stearns Road from Bittersweet Drive to Kent Circle. This work will begin in September.
The receiving station and storage tanks project was awarded to Joseph J. Henderson & Son, as was the DuPage Water Commission’s metering station project. Both of these projects will start in September.
On August 29, the Village opened bids for the 12-inch water main that will run along the west edge of the Villa Olivia golf course to connect to the Lake Street pump station. This project will start this fall.
March 2018 Update - on Tuesday, 3/6, DuPage Water Commission Chairman Jim Zay, joined by Village of Bartlett President Kevin Wallace, Bartlett trustees and officials from Roselle and Hanover Park, broke ground on the construction of a five and a half mile-long water main from the DuPage Water Commission to the Village of Bartlett. Company representatives from AECOM and Benchmark Construction Company were also at the groundbreaking.
In December of 2016, the Village of Bartlett chose the DuPage Water Commission (DWC) to be its new water supplier, which will bring Lake Michigan water to Village residents.
DWC worked closely with the Village to obtain agreements, including conducting a hydraulic analysis to determine the best route for the water main. The commission then hired the engineering firm AECOM to start the project design, coordinated with the Villages of Roselle and Hanover Park and consulted with private property owners to obtain easements to route the water main through the various properties. When complete, the water main will travel under public roads, railroads, a river and through some private property.
Pre-qualified contractors bid the construction of the water main and it was awarded to the construction firm Benchmark Construction Company.
Chairman Zay said, "This project is a great example of many government agencies working together to accomplish the best results for the citizens we serve."
The water main is expected to be completed by May 2019.
February 2018 Update - The Village Board recently approved the capital budget for the next five-year period and, as anticipated, a significant portion of the 2018-2019 budget focuses on infrastructure improvements needed for Bartlett’s transition to 100% Lake Michigan water by 2019, when its water contract with the City of Elgin expires.
The Village currently purchases approximately 60% of its water from Elgin with the balance of the source water pumped from Village wells. However, last February the Board finalized an agreement to join the DuPage Water Commission and purchase Lake Michigan water through this membership.
Some of the infrastructure additions and improvements needed for this transition include a DuPage Water Commission receiving station, new elevated tower and ground storage tank and new transmission mains. A complete upgrade will be needed at the Lake Street pump station and piping/valve modifications will be needed at the Main Street and Stearns Road pump stations to make them compatible and functional with the new water system.
Construction of local water transmission lines will begin this summer, running along the Stearns Road right-of-way, and the Village is pleased to start 2018 with more good news about this project.
First, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a one-time $485,000 Special Appropriation Act Program grant to the Village of Bartlett to help finance the water infrastructure project. This grant was made available through the USEPA annual appropriations process and was designated in 2009 for projects to improve drinking water infrastructure. These funds will help the Village build the new pump station that is needed for connection to the DuPage Water Commission.
The Village received another piece of good news in January, when the DuPage Water Commission opened bids for the new water transmission main from Roselle. Benchmark Construction submitted the low bid of $13.25 million, which was 20.7% below the engineer’s estimate.
Since these improvements are mainly funded through water rates, the Village is pleased to be able to offset even a small portion of the cost of such a major capital project through fiscally responsible bids and grants.
You can see more numbers in regard to this multi-year water project in the 2018-2022 Capital Budget.
The Decision to Move to Lake Michigan Water
June to August 2014
The Village of Bartlett purchases approximately 60% of its water from the City of Elgin with the balance of the source water pumped from Village wells. The contract with Elgin expires in 2019 and the Board of Trustees began weighing its future water source options in mid-year 2014.
|November 2015 to January 2016||
By November 2015, after many discussions and many questions asked and answered, the five proposals had morphed into three solid options -- 100% Elgin water from the Fox River; 100% NSMJAWA (Northwest Suburban Municipal Joint Action Water Agency) water from Lake Michigan; or a combination of 50% Elgin/50% NSMJAWA.
|January 2016 to October/November 2016||
In January 2016, the Village Board directed staff to pursue an agreement for 100% water from Elgin. Staff began negotiations but in October 2016 had not yet finalized the agreement.
|February 2017||On February 7, 2017 the Village Board finalized an agreement to join the DuPage Water Commission and purchase Lake Michigan water through this membership.|
|March to May 2017||
The Village of Bartlett had held off on its routine, biennial reviews of water and sewer rates since the last rate increase in 2012. At the March 21, 2017 Village Board meeting, trustees approved a 20% increase in the water rate and a 20% increase in the sewer rate that went into effect on May 1, 2017.
Although a rate increase would have occurred even if Bartlett had chosen to renegotiate its water purchase contract with the City of Elgin, the transition to Lake Michigan water requires engineering and water main replacement costs, which account for a substantial portion of the water rate hike. The sewer rate increase is largely impacted by necessary improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.
Bartlett’s water and sewer rates have been in the bottom third compared to 26 neighboring communities that were surveyed. After the 20% increase in rates, the Village still falls squarely in the middle of all surveyed municipalities.