Illinois Drought: Update – October 21, 2005, Illinois State Water Survey

Illinois Drought Update





OCTOBER 21, 2005


  • The Illinois Commerce Commission only regulates 44 investor-owned water utilities serving approximately 350,000 water customers. These utilities collectively operate about one hundred systems throughout the State of Illinois. The Commission does not regulate municipal water systems or water systems owned by homeowners associations. The EPA regulates about 1,800 (as of 7/27/05) public water suppliers throughout the State.


  • Only three investor-owned water utilities collectively serve over 10,000 customers in the State of Illinois: Illinois-American Water Company, Aqua Illinois, and Utilities, Inc. These utilities collectively serve 98% of the investor-owned water utilities’ customers in the State.  The majority of Commission regulated water utilities are small well systems. These three investor-owned water utilities were contacted to assess the effects of the drought on their water systems.



Illinois-American Water Company


Illinois-American Water Company is the largest investor-owned water utility in the State of Illinois serving 267,000 customers throughout the state with water facilities in the Chicago Metro Area, Champaign, Pontiac, Sterling, Streator, Lincoln, Pekin, Peoria, Alton, Cairo, and the Interurban District in East St. Louis and Granite City.


For this reporting period Illinois-American notified Staff that all water restrictions in the Chicago Metro Division have been lifted.  Prior reporting periods identified water restrictions for customers in the Alpine Heights, Fernway, and Liberty West service areas of Illinois-American’s Chicago Metro Division.  These service areas receive Lake Michigan water, which is purchased from other communities. The outside communities had implemented the restrictions on Illinois-American.


However, the Company continues to monitor the Mississippi River, which is the source water for their East St. Louis plant, but does not expect a problem with continued service. The East St. Louis plant serves East St. Louis, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O'Fallon, Caseyville, Waterloo, and Millstadt. They have taken steps to install temporary pumping equipment to ensure a continuous supply is available to this water plant. The pumping equipment would essentially be a temporary extension of their water intake into the river.


Aqua Illinois


The second largest investor-owned water utility, Aqua Illinois, serves 55,000 customers in their Candlewick, Hawthorn Woods, Ivanhoe, Kankakee, Oak Run, University Park, Vermilion, Willowbrook, and Woodhaven Divisions in the northern half of the State.


There are no new drought related incidents for Aqua Illinois this reporting period. Additionally, water restrictions for Aqua’s Hawthorn Woods system have been lifted by the Village of Hawthorn Woods. The Village had previously issued the precautionary restriction because of approximately 6,000 private wells located in the Village. Aqua Illinois did not issue a separate water restriction since their water supply was adequate and peak demand had not been reached.


Utilities, Inc.


Utilities, Inc has 22 small water utilities scattered in the Northern half of the State with a combined 15,000 customers statewide. These water utilities all operate small well systems with one being purchased water.


There are no drought related incidents this reporting period.




There are no new drought related incidents for investor-owned water utilities for this reporting period.   Water restrictions that were in place for Illinois-American’s Chicago Metro District (i.e., Alpine Heights, Fernway, and Liberty West service areas) and Aqua Illinois’ Hawthorn Woods system have been lifted by their respective communities.  Both the investor-owned water utilities and the Commission are closely monitoring the situation and the effects the drought may have on utility customers. While the water supply has been adequate for investor owned water utilities, the outlook for investor-owned water utilities appears to be heavily dependent on the temperature, precipitation level, and resulting water usage.

Illinois Drought

Illinois State Water Survey

2204 Griffith Dr
Champaign, IL 61820-7463

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