ISWS Water Conference Home

STATE WATER PLAN UPDATE. Donald R. Vonnahme, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Water Resources, Springfield, Illinois 62701

Over the last twenty years the State Water Plan Task Force has established itself as one of the leading institutions in Illinois for the development of policy and program guidance in water resource management for application by State and local agencies, and non-governmental organizations. From the time the first Task Force meeting was held in May of 1980 through its 100th meeting held in February of 1999, the Task Force continues to meet as a coordinated interagency forum to review and respond to emerging water resources issues. A review of the Task Forces' activities over the last twenty years is a review of the evolution of the State's water resources policy, management and related programs. The library of Water Plan Task Force publications includes 28 reports, some of which have become foundational documents for the implementation of major state and national programs for drought management, instream flow protection, groundwater law, large river basin programs, biological stream classification, and aquifer studies. While major accomplishments have been reached in the issue areas of sediment and erosion control, protection of underground water quality, flood damage mitigation and drought contingency planning, the Task Force continues to actively address policy issues in the areas of water use law including instream flow protection, groundwater management, emergency drought response, natural resource mapping and long term data collection.

HINDSIGHT IS 2020, A COMPARISON OF WATER DEMAND PROJECTIONS TO 2020 AND ACTUAL WATER USE SINCE 1960. Sally McConkey, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, Illinois 61820 and John Marlin, Illinois Waste Management and Research Center, Champaign, Illinois 61820

Projecting water needs requires consideration of water demands from residential, commercial, rural, industrial, and power generation sectors. The principal factors influencing water needs in these sectors are population, water use per person (per capita), economic vitality, and power demand and mode of generation. Several comprehensive studies of water needs for Illinois were published [circa 1970]. The U.S. Department of the Interior, Federal Water Pollution Control Administration, authorized studies of the Upper Mississippi River Basin and the Ohio River Basin, which included water demand projections encompassing Illinois. Compared to reported water use in 1980 and 1990 for municipal and commercial supplies, demands projected for northern Illinois (including the six counties in northeastern Illinois, the Illinois River Basin, and the Rock River Basin) were overestimated by 40 percent compared to 1980 data, with the overestimation more than 150 percent by 1990. Projections for the southern half of Illinois were fairly close to reported water use for municipal water supplies. However, statewide industrial water needs were grossly overestimated.

State agencies, working through the Governor's Technical Advisory Committee on Water Resources, prepared water demand projections for Illinois to 2020, which were published in 1967 in Water for Illinois, a Plan for Action. These projections estimated total water demand for municipal, industrial, and rural users, excluding cooling water for power generation, to increase from 3.3 billion gallons per day (bgd) in 1965 to 5.0 bgd in 1980 and to 6.9 bgd in 2020. The Illinois Department of Business and Economic Development in 1970 provided comparable estimates of water demands for 1980 at 3.4 bgd and 4.9 bgd in 2020. Reported water use for these sectors was 2.71 bgd in 1980 and 2.85 bgd in 1990. Central water supply facilities (e.g., municipal, which excludes self-supplied industrial water) have experienced a slowing of the increasing demand for water from 1960 to 1990 with reported withdrawals of 1.49 bgd, 1.78 bgd, and 1.86 bgd for 1960, 1980, and 1990, respectively. Generally, projections made on the basis of water use and water use trends in the 1960s estimated water needs to increase by 40 to 50 percent from 1960 to 1980, which was considerably greater than actual water use, casting doubt on the projections for 2020.

Statewide water demand projections provide a useful context for understanding Illinois' water needs and use patterns. Case studies of various population centers such as the northeastern Illinois region and the cities of Bloomington, Carbondale, and Danville provide examples of the sensitivity of water demand projections to the factors used in their development. Viewing these projections in the context of actual water use gives insight to the assumptions and methods used and guidance for future water needs projections for community or regional planning.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND IMPACTS ON WATER RESOURCES. Kenneth E. Kunkel, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, Illinois 61820

Human activities, particularly in the latter half of the 20th Century, have been responsible for large increases in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, and oxides of nitrogen. These gases have the property that they trap energy emitted by the earth's surface, analogous to a greenhouse, and are thus referred to as greenhouse gases. It is expected that carbon dioxide concentrations will continue to increase because of the burning of fossil fuels and this will likely lead to global warming and other changes in climate. Temperature observations indicate that there has been a significant increase in globally-averaged temperature during the 20th Century. Although there is a substantial natural variability in the global climate system and the observed changes could be due to such natural processes, the possibility that the temperature increases are caused by human activities cannot be discounted.

Ongoing research by atmospheric scientists is aimed at predicting future changes in climate due to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. In particular, computer models of the climate system have been constructed and are being used to simulate the future climate. These models are highly complex and require prodigious amounts of computer time to perform their simulations of the future, but even with the fastest supercomputers atmospheric processes must be simplified. All models predict that global temperatures will rise rapidly during the 21st Century, possibly reaching levels unprecedented in the last 1000 years. Although the models are in agreement that climate will warm, there remains wide disparity among the models on the rate of warming. For Illinois, the models project warming of 4 to 12 deg F (with respect to late 20th Century averages) by the end of the 21st Century. The models also disagree on whether precipitation will increase or decrease. Most predict some increase in precipitation, but a few predict a decrease.

WATER QUALITY ISSUES IN THE SINKHOLE PLAIN OF SOUTHWESTERN ILLINOIS. Joan Bade, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Randolph County Conservation Area, Chester, Illinois 62233

Karst is a type of landscape in which the bedrock is made of soluble materials such as dolomite or limestone. Through time, rain and soil water draining down through cracks and crevices in the bedrock have dissolved enough rock to form an underground network of conduits. Typical features of karst include sinkholes, springs, and disappearing streams. The Southwest Illinois Karst comprises a gently rolling sinkhole plain area located just southeast of St. Louis, Missouri. Groundwater quality in the Southwest Illinois Karst has deteriorated greatly over the past decade. This change correlates with increased development and the increased use of surface discharge systems for private sewage treatment and disposal. In 1994, 71 percent of the wells in the area showed unsatisfactory levels of bacterial contamination compared with 36 percent in 1986. The Mississippi Karst Resource Planning Committee was formed by concerned citizens to address the problem. The committee has engaged in both education and research in the sinkhole plain. The data generated and conclusions drawn should allow for improvement of groundwater quality in the region through education and, possibly, regulation at the state or local level. Some local karst regulations have been adopted, in part as a result of the efforts of the committee.


Starting with a routine total trihalomethane (TTHM) sample analysis "blip" in December of 1981, and subsequent follow-up investigations the City of Rockford, Illinois voluntarily shut down over 30% of its water production capabilities within a 3 month period.

Volatile organic chemicals (VOC's) were not regulated at this time so the Water Division had to make some very tough decisions regarding its water supply, water quality, and its ability to meet customer demand all within a very short time frame. As it turned out, a series of critical decisions resulted in no major impacts regarding the above mentioned items.

Coupled with these findings, along with evidence of several different plumes of contamination, the City of Rockford also had public relations issues to address with its 135,000 consumers. By being up front, open and honest with what the Water Division was up against, along with the open dialogue with the regulators in Springfield, many positive results were achieved in the face of a critical and dangerous situation.

A 10 square mile area of an industrial part of Rockford was designated as a Superfund Area and it was at this point the Water Division had its hands tied. Luckily the early intervention and decisions made by all resulted in nothing but positive response from Springfield and Washington.

This talk will focus on how the City of Rockford, the largest groundwater supply in Illinois, dealt with the enormous issues described above and the positive results achieved by teamwork developed by the Water Division, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois State Water Survey, Federal EPA, and the Department of Justice.

IRRIGATION IN ILLINOIS. F. William Simmons, University of Illinois, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, Urbana, IL 61801

Irrigation for crop production has expanded steadily at a low rate (<3% per year) in Illinois over the past decade. In the preceding decade irrigated acreage in the Midwestern states increased 56%. Optimal irrigation settings in Illinois, characterized by sandy soils, ample water supply, and diverse high-value crops currently have a high density of irrigated acreage. The majority of irrigated acreage in Illinois is the Havana Lowlands in Mason and Tazewell counties, the Green and Rock River areas in Lee and Whiteside counties, and along the Wabash, Ohio, and Mississippi River valleys.

Adoption of irrigation on soils less economically responsive to irrigation is driven by two factors; 1) a recent drought, and 2) influx of high value crops such as seed corn. Following the drought of 1988, irrigation acreage increased substantially in Illinois. Future expansion of irrigation acreage will require a dramatic increase in commodity prices, a shift in climate, or a combination of the two factors.

Although irrigated acreage represents less than 2% of the crop production in Illinois it will remain important locally in regions where it's use is widespread. Water-use, environmental issues-, and economic viability are all important to communities where irrigation is present.

MAHOMET AQUIFER CONSORTIUM DEVELOPING CONSENSUS. Duane D. Cole, Illinois-American Water Company, Champaign, Illinois 61826-9018

The purpose of the Mahomet Aquifer Consortium (MAC) is to further study the Mahomet Aquifer and to develop a plan for the management of this valuable resource.

The MAC was formed three years ago bringing together parties interested in preserving a valuable national resource.

Through the efforts of this organization informed decisions will be made concerning how to ensure a water supply to meet future water demands as well as educating the public about the aquifer and related issues.

Funding to accomplish the objectives of the MAC will be through State and Federal agencies.


H. Vernon Knapp, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, Illinois 61820

Edward Mehnert and Richard J. Rice, Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, Illinois 61820

Illinois is fortunate in that large quantities of both surface and groundwater exist in the state, although the quantity of available resources may be limited at specific locations. Water is essential to an expanding economy, and the availability of water resources often controls where new industries locate and how communities grow. Groundwater has been used as a water supply since Illinois was first settled, and it is often the first choice for drinking water supplies. Currently, approximately one-third of Illinois residents rely on groundwater for a water supply, while two-thirds of Illinois residents rely on surface water for a water supply. In addition, surface water supplies are most often utilized to meet the demands for large quantities of water such as powerplants.

The distribution of aquifers across Illinois varies significantly. Multiple aquifers are found beneath some areas in Illinois, while no aquifers are found in other areas. Maps of aquifers are available from the Illinois State Geological Survey. These maps are organized into bedrock aquifers and sand-and-gravel aquifers. Bedrock aquifers are used as a water source primarily in northern Illinois and along the western boundary of the Illinois Basin. Sand-and-gravel aquifers are more widespread across Illinois and are commonly found in river valleys, glacial outwash deposits or buried bedrock valleys. A buried bedrock valley is a drainageway that was eroded into the top of the bedrock (when the bedrock was at the ground surface) and was subsequently filled with sand and gravel covered by finer grained, geologic materials. The Mahomet aquifer is an example of an aquifer in a buried bedrock valley.

Where will the well run dry? A well is most likely to run dry in two scenarios. One scenario occurs when an aquifer is closely tied to precipitation and/or surface water sources. Such an aquifer tends to be shallow and is susceptible to drying out seasonally (i.e., during periods of little precipitation) and during droughts. The other scenario occurs in an area where demand exceeds supply (e.g., northeastern Illinois). The demand placed on an aquifer is generally defined by the amount of pumpage from the aquifer, while the amount of water supplied by an aquifer is generally defined by the amount of recharge into that aquifer and the volume of water stored in that aquifer.

Most streams in Illinois have an ample supply of water throughout most years. However, during drought conditions, a stream may dry up or have greatly diminished flows unless it receives sustained baseflow originating from groundwater. Thus, the locations within Illinois that have limited groundwater resources also tend to have streams with little or no flow during drought conditions. For larger demands in these locations, water is obtained through inter-basin transfers of water or, more commonly, surface water reservoirs created by the impoundment of a stream. For example, much of the southern half of Illinois has very limited streamflows and groundwater during droughts, explaining the predominance of water-supply reservoirs in this region.

Public water supplies in Illinois obtain surface water from one of three basic sources: 1) Lake Michigan, which supplies much of the metropolitan Chicago area, 2) surface water storage reservoirs, and 3) direct withdrawal from a border rivers or major streams within the state. Very large water uses, such as power generation, rely to a much greater extent on direct withdrawals from major rivers and on the use of large cooling ponds. This presentation describes the geographic distribution, general water-supply capacity, and impact of drought on these water-supply sources.

POTENTIAL DRINKING WATER CONCERNS IN GROUND AND SURFACE WATER IN THE ILLINOIS RIVER BASIN-U. S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY PERSPECTIVE FROM THE NATIONAL WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT. Kelly L. Warner, Paul Terrio, Robin King, George Groschen, Terri Arnold, William S. Morrow, Mike Friedel, and Mitchell A. Harris, U.S. Geological Survey, Urbana, Illinois, 61801

The Illinois River Basin encompasses 11,000 square miles of the upper Illinois River Basin (UIRB) and 18,000 square miles of the lower Illinois River Basin (LIRB). Approximately 9 million people in Illinois live in these basins. Public-water supply in the UIRB is primarily (86 percent) from Lake Michigan with 14 percent supplied by other resources; public-water supply in the LIRB is approximately 50 percent from ground water and 50 percent from surface water. The National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program of the U.S. Geological Survey was designed to provide a national view of the status and trends of the Nation's water resources. The UIRB and LIRB are 2 of approximately 50 study units used to assess the quality of our Nation's water.

From 1987-90, a pilot study of the UIRB was done to help design a nationally consistent water-quality monitoring program. The pilot study focused on surface water. Two conclusions from the pilot study of the UIRB are drinking-water concerns: 1.) Concentrations of priority pollutants are elevated above background concentrations in the Chicago area in all three aquatic components of water, sediment, and biota; and 2.) The largest nutrient concentrations and loads were found in urban areas of the basin. Water-quality degradation in urban areas where the demand is high, is a continuing problem. Currently, two active NAWQA programs in Illinois are assessing the quality and trends in the quality of surface and ground water. During 1996-98 samples were collected from 117 wells, 8 routine surface water sites, 8 habitat and biology sites, and 20 bed sediment and fish tissue sites in the LIRB. Currently samples from the UIRB (1999-2001) are being collected from 117 wells, 11 routine surface-water sites, 8 habitat and biology sites, and 10 bed-sediment and fish-tissue sites.

Ground-water-quality issues in the UIRB and LIRB are similar. In agricultural areas, pesticides and pesticide degradates are detected in 21 to 35 percent of the shallow glacial drift wells. Metolachlor degradates were the most commonly detected pesticide. The UIRB had a greater percentage of detections of alachlor than the LIRB and the LIRB had more detections of hydroxyatrazine. In the LIRB, only 6 volatile organic compounds (VOC) from 5 wells were detected in 4,300 analyses. Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) was detected (0.59 ug/L) in one sample from a shallow aquifer in the LIRB. Radon concentrations in LIRB ground water ranged from less than 80 to 1,300 pCi/L with 44 percent of the concentrations above 300 pCi/L in the shallow glacial drift aquifer. Thirty samples from the deep glacial drift aquifer in the Mahomet Buried Valley were analyzed for arsenic, and the wells with the highest concentration of arsenic were resampled for arsenic speciation. In the deep glacial drift aquifer, 60 percent of the wells exceeded 5 ug/L of arsenic, and most of the arsenic is in the more toxic arsenite form. Water-quality data from community-supply wells in the LIRB and the rest of Illinois were analyzed for selected inorganics, major ions, and trace elements. Concentrations of constituents, such as chloride, increase with depth, making the deeper aquifers unsuitable for drinking. Other constituents, like radium, exceed 5 pCi/L and are a health concern in the deep Mt. Simon and Cambrian-Ordovician aquifers in northern Illinois.

Surface-water-quality issues, in the UIRB and LIRB are similar in that nutrients and pesticide concentrations are elevated. However, more pesticides are found in agricultural areas and in urban areas, more metals and trace elements are common in stream sediments. Recent data from the UIRB are still being analyzed. In the LIRB, atrazine was detected in every surface-water sample. In May/June, 60 percent of the surface-water samples in the LIRB had atrazine concentrations that exceeded the clean drinking-water standards (3 ug/L). The elevated pesticide concentrations were most influenced by seasonality, because most high concentrations were observed in May to June. Flow conditions also affect pesticide concentrations but not as much as seasonality. The breakdown product of the organochlorine pesticide dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) and dieldrin were the most commonly detected organic compounds in biota in the LIRB and UIRB. Nutrient concentrations in water are higher than concentrations typically found in natural waters in the LIRB and UIRB. Nitrogen concentrations were typically higher in the smaller drainage basins, whereas organic nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were higher in larger drainage basins. Comparing the LIRB with other midwestern basins showed that much of the instream nitrogen is incorporated into algae during the warm summer months. Nitrate concentrations in the LIRB are elevated, with 18 percent of the samples having concentrations greater than 10 mg/L. Nitrate concentrations in the Illinois River at Ottawa (downstream UIRB) and Valley City (downstream LIRB) were similar, but the nitrate load at Valley City is much larger. In the UIRB, bacteria densities greater than water-quality standards were observed at many sites.

TRENDS IN TIGHTENING OF FEDERAL DRINKING WATER QUALITY REGULATIONS. Frederick W. Pontius, P.E., Pontius Water Consultants, Inc., Lakewood, Colorado 80215-0361.

Last year, 1999, marked the 25th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Futures Forum, the SDWA anniversary banquet -- with commemorative glass mug. These are all history now. The regulatory future is coming quickly upon us…….and what does it hold?

SDWA rules target public health protection. They apply to public water systems - those that provide drinking water to at least 25 people or 15 service connections for at least 60 days per year. There are about 170,000 public water systems in the U.S. Of these, roughly 54,000 Community Water Systems serve more than 250 million people in their homes. Most Community systems (80%) use ground water sources, but the majority of the U.S. population is served by surface water.

The number of regulated contaminants has increased steadily since 1986. Currently, enforceable National Primary Drinking Water Regulations exist for over 90 contaminants. Of these, 75 have maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), and the remaining have treatment requirements. Secondary standards, known as nonenforceable Recommended MCLs (or RMCLs), have been set for 15 contaminants - to ensure aesthetic quality.

Contaminants regulated to date have been relatively easy to regulate……the more difficult contaminants remain. The number of contaminants regulated will increase modestly over the next decade……new rules for radon, arsenic, and contaminants selected for regulation from the drinking water contaminant candidate list. Other rules forthcoming over the next 3 to 5 years include a ground water rule, the stage 2 disinfection byproduct rule, the stage 2 enhanced surface water treatment rule (LT2ESWTR), the long-term stage 1 ESWTR, and a filter backwash rule.

USEPA and states will continue to be squeezed by limited resources. The data needs and regulatory superstructure necessary to maintain the SDWA contaminant-by-contaminant regulatory treadmill and rule implementation are immense. Contaminant occurrence and health effects must be assessed, health risks estimated, analytical methods and treatment technology developed, and regulations set. But that's only the beginning……state implementation and utility compliance follow……requiring changes in state regulations and utility operations. The economic reality is that water utilities seldom have more than one or two chances to make major treatment process changes……strategic planning must be done carefully.

Over the last 25 years, improved analytical techniques have resulted in an explosion in the number of identified chemical compounds and microorganisms. Though not all of these present a threat to drinking water safety, the past teaches us an important lesson for the future -- when we look for something in source waters, as analytical techniques improve……we are going to find it……even if only at some small level, or in certain source waters.

A fundamental tenet of public water supply engineering is: use the highest quality source water. Source water protection emerged in the 1990's as the most environmentally-sustainable approach to ensuring safe drinking water. The emphasis on source protection - surface water and ground water - will continue in the future. For source protection measures to succeed, however, existing technical, financial, and political barriers must be overcome.

Another emerging trend in the 1990's……and for the future……is the increasing attention given to citizens with special drinking water needs. A higher percentage of elderly citizens……increasing survival rates among cancer patients……a growing HIV/AIDS population……pregnancy……sensitivities of the fetus……susceptibility of children……and improved understanding of genetic factors. We are quickly learning that what was considered susceptible subgroups……is us. Everyone is susceptible to certain contaminants at some stage(s) in life. And we do not always know who is susceptible at a particular time. Providing information to sensitive customers……and meeting special drinking water needs……will challenge our thinking regarding customer service……and customer choices.

Infrastructure funding needs will remain high. In 1995, USEPA surveyed community water system infrastructure needs through the year 2014. Approximately $138 billion in infrastructure needs were estimated over the 20-year period. Industry estimates suggest a higher need, especially for distribution systems. Yet, this figure alone is more than the entire estimated assets of the water industry in 1995. An investment of $34.4 billion was needed for SDWA compliance and SDWA-related improvements. About 20 percent of the total need was for small systems. A new infrastructure needs survey is in progress to update cost estimates. Similar findings, if not greater needs, are expected.

The Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRF), established in the 1996, will provide only a small portion of needed funds. Congressional appropriations for the DWSRF from 1997 to 2000 total $3.62 billion -- funding levels that are exceptionally good for a new federal assistance program in a time of tight budgets. But much more is needed……from federal, state, local, and private sources.

Increased emphasis on maintaining technical, managerial, and financial capacity will be needed……to comply with new rules……and to satisfy or exceed customer expectations. Like no other time in history, customer expectations are shaped by the flood of information available via the internet……both good information and bad. Perhaps in the near future up-to-the-minute drinking water quality data will be accessible to customers at the click of a mouse. Such a system is now being piloted by the Des Moines Water Works and USEPA.

As noted in USEPA's SDWA History and Trends Report, significant progress has been made in improving drinking water safety over the previous 25 years. The percentage of people served by water systems meeting all health-based standards has steadily increased. But greater effort and commitment by all will be needed in the years ahead given the challenges before us. Water utilities must not only meet the regulations, but apply their resources to providing the highest quality water and customer satisfaction.

TIGHTENING OF WATER QUALITY REGULATIONS: THE STATE'S PERSPECTIVE. Dianna L. Heaberlin, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Springfield, Illinois 62794

Congress has spoken! Providing assuredly safe drinking water to all consumers is a national priority! The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 require USEPA to promulgate more and more regulations. Now it is up to the water supplies and State administrative authorities to try to develop and implement new or revised programs. This time Congress did offer some financial assistance, but these funds come with strings and more programs to implement.

FUTURE STATE LABORATORY FUNDING COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH UPCOMING REGULATIONS. Kenneth A. Alderson, Illinois Municipal League, Springfield, Illinois 62705

The Community Water Supply Testing program has attempted to provide public water supplies with low cost water quality testing mandated by State and Federal requirements. Given the disparity in water withdrawal sources, facility revenues and propensity of the federal government to mandate locally funded research testing, several questions arise: how might the Community Water Supply Testing program be restructured to be more cost effective, should the state and/or federal government participate in funding testing costs particularly when collecting research oriented data, and how might technology assist in reducing costs while assuring safe drinking water to all citizens in Illinois?

FUTURE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH UPCOMING REGULATIONS: A CASE STUDY. Craig Cummings, Consumers Illinois Water Company, Danville, Illinois 61832

Drinking water regulations have become increasingly stringent, particularly for vulnerable surface water supplies. Public water suppliers are under growing pressure to upgrade facilities to meet the new regulations.

This paper will explore the history of the drinking water regulations driving capital investment at Consumers Illinois Water Company's facility in Danville, Illinois as well as what the future holds for this facility and others like it. The paper will address capital investment, financing, operational costs, and other issues such as "soft" costs associated with watershed management and monitoring.

FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES AVAILABLE TO MEET REGULATIONS. Steven Medlar P.E., Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Edison, New Jersey 08818

Are water quality regulations today stressing our technical ability to treat and produce potable drinking water? Will the emerging treatment technologies now considered "state-of-the-art" be adequate to meet future drinking water regulations that will become even more stringent and more challenging? This presentation will discuss some of the current technologies that are being applied to serious water quality problems and how well these technologies will be able to handle future issues. Future water quality concerns will likely include microorganisms such as Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora, synthetic organics, biological enzymes, drugs and medications, disinfection byproducts, heavy metals such as arsenic, and radionuclides. Choices to meet future regulations will have to be made relative to the basic approach as to how we treat water. For example, Cryptosporidium in water can be removed or it can be killed. The former may require micro or ultrafiltration while the latter may require ozonation, perhaps coupled with advanced oxidation. Each of these technologies has advantages-and disadvantages-and can be quite costly.

Future technologies will evolve from current treatment techniques that work. In no water system can any new technology be used without demonstrating that performance expectations are virtually quaranteed. Consequently, the future will be a balance between the most stringent water quality standards that can be met, against our best technical ability to produce a high quality water economically. In other words, technology is just keeping pace with our drinking water quality challenges and regulations.

This presentation will outline current treatment technologies including conventional treatment, micro and ultrafiltration, advanced oxidation, catalytic adsorption, ultraviolet disinfection, and ozonation. These technologies and other emerging processes will be presentated relative to the likely direction that drinking water regulations may take and the processes that may best handle future standards.


Melanie VanHeirseele, Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency, Lake Bluff, Illinois 60044

A group of communities in central Lake County, Illinois, formed an intergovernmental cooperative in 1981 to explore the feasibility of obtaining a safe, reliable and economical source of potable water for their residents as a united effort. Each community already had a local water system that was dependent either on groundwater supplies (shallow and deep well aquifers), or on purchasing treated water from a neighboring municipal treatment facility, or a combination of the two sources.

The concept of providing treated Lake Michigan water to residents of inland communities of Lake County, Illinois, was a subject of discussion between municipalities for many years. As early as the 1940s, attempts were chronicled in local newspapers; however, these earlier attempts were unsuccessful because of the inability of the individual municipalities to agree on an equitable method to share the costs.

The intergovernmental group formed in 1981 identified four factors that were critical to satisfy the individual needs of each of the communities:

· Quantity - Diminishing groundwater supplies, coupled with increasing population in the Chicago metropolitan area, was a serious problem being faced by many of the communities.

· Quality - Some of the communities were experiencing problems with the quality of the source water - groundwater contaminants such as radon, or high levels of iron, hardness and total dissolved solids.

· Cost - The communities already purchasing treated Lake Michigan water from an existing facility were unable to predict future water rates while purchasing water from another source.

· Control - The ability to control future costs and the long-term needs of each of the communities with respect to quantity and quality.

This presentation will explore the reasons and methodology for formation of the original study group in 1981; the course of action used to investigate potential sources of water; the decision to form a joint action water agency under the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of the State of Illinois to give the group the power to sell bonds and levy taxes; and the conclusion reached that the best means of meeting the needs of all the communities was to construct, own and operate an independent system.

WHO REGULATES THE STATE'S WATERS? Gary R. Clark, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Water Resources, Springfield, Illinois 62701

The foundation of state water law is the concept that water in its natural state is common property held by the state intrust for the people. This is true whether the rights to use the resource are established by the common law or statutory provisions. All of Illinois' citizens enjoy the use of the state's water resources on a daily basis yet very few understand the source or limitations to the exercise of their water use rights. The basis for this lack of understanding is the fact that Illinois' water use law is very fragmented and lacks uniformity and comprehensiveness. For example, literally dozens of statutory provisions confer authority on numerous state and local entities to develop, use or otherwise affect water resources. These include statewide agencies such as the Departments of Natural Resources, Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency plus numerous municipalities, public utilities, water authorities, conservancy districts and others. In order to understand who regulates the states waters in a particular situation, one must first ask who is developing the resource, what type of water resource is under development, where is this resource under development, for what use is the resource being developed. With answers to these questions in hand, the legality to the right to develop and use the resource can be addressed along with the issue of whether or not in any particular situation, authorities exist to restrict the development and use of the water resource.


The relationship between land use planning and water supply in the northern Illinois metropolitan area is non-existent, but perhaps this situation is on the verge of change. The relationship is non-existent because local officials, planners and developers assume that the relationship is the simple, historic one which is reflected in public utility law and practice: urban growth is market driven and when and where it occurs, "host" communities have a duty to secure the necessary water supplies to accommodate the market.

This deeply embedded assumption in United States land and water use planning is slowly being questioned in western United States and other regions are beginning to link water allocation and land use planning as part of "smart growth" initiatives. For the first time, the function of water law is to not remove the limitations on urban growth inherent in limited and variable supplies, but it is to allow communities to base growth strategies on the carrying capacity of their natural resources base.

The basic argument of this paper is that growing communities have the discretion to match water supply to desired growth rates. Water and land use regulation have long been considered two separate property and regulatory regimes but they should be integrated through local planning processes. State water law currently encourages urban growth and gives limited recognition to the local values attached to water. It also does not encourage watershed-based planning and regulation. Local communities have little opportunity to subordinate water to growth management policies where they exist. The first step to reversing the disincentives to integrate land and water policy is to recognize that local values have a legitimate place in water allocation law, even if the weight that should be given to this voice can not presently be precisely defined and that neither the law of water rights nor the public utility law duty to serve prevent this coordination among growing cities. Ultimately, water resources planning can become an exercise in watershed protection and landscape definition.

The integration of land use planning and water resources law must proceed through three stages. The first is the recognition that water is a limited resource. The second is that recognition that water supply and land use planning should be linked beyond the traditional way of simply planning endless supply projects to meet anticipated growth. The third step is enactment of new laws to allow communities to subordinate land development to water supply and watershed protection policies. Illinois has yet to reach the first of the three stages.


Daniel Injerd, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Water Resources, Chicago, Illinois 60604

Illinois is allowed, pursuant to a U.S. Supreme Court Decree, to divert 3,200 cubic feet per second of water from Lake Michigan. This flow limitation has been in effect since 1967 and is very unlikely to ever be increased. Illinois' diversion includes Lake Michigan water diverted for domestic water supply, for the operation and maintenance of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal system and stormwater runoff from the 673 square mile diverted watershed.

Currently, about 6.3 million people in northeastern Illinois use Lake Michigan water. The Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission forecasts a 1990-2020 increase in population of 25% (1.8 million), of which about 800,000 will be in the current Lake Michigan water service area.

This aggressive growth rate, coupled with the 1994 announcement that Illinois' diversion had exceeded the U.S. Supreme Court Decree limit, raising the possibility of renewed litigation before the Supreme Court, has created some uncertainty as to the role Lake Michigan water will play in supplying future growth.

This presentation will provide an overview of Illinois' current compliance with the Supreme Court Decree, will describe the activities and projects that Illinois agreed to undertake as part of a mediated settlement with the other Great Lakes states, will describe the process the Illinois Department of Natural Resources utilizes to forecast water supply demands and issue Lake Michigan water allocations and will review Illinois' schedule to return to full compliance with the Supreme Court Decree. The importance of regional water supply planning and demand management in meeting northeastern Illinois' future water supply needs will also be discussed.

SOCIETAL COSTS OF FLOODS AND DROUGHTS. Stanley A. Changnon, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL 61820

The two most damaging weather conditions in Illinois are floods and droughts. These opposite extremes have very different characteristics. Droughts are slow to develop and long lasting (years), whereas floods are quick to develop and last only days to weeks. These different characteristics determine how these extremes affect Illinois. However, floods and droughts are costly in terms of lives lost and economic losses.

The climate of Illinois fluctuates constantly on scales of 5 to 40 years, and it has also changed dramatically over the centuries. These short-term variations and long-term shifts alter the number and severity of droughts and floods. For example, the major droughts of the 20th century occurred in the 1930s and 1950s, and Illinois has gone nearly 40 years without a prolonged severe drought. Yes, there were one-year droughts in 1980, 1983, and 1988 that hurt the state's agricultural production, but the human and economic losses from the 1930s and 1950s droughts were of much greater magnitude. Severe prolonged droughts are also associated with record heat waves such as those that occurred in Illinois during the 1930s and 1950s droughts when thousands died.

Flooding also shifts over time. Two of the most damaging floods in the state's history occurred in the 1990s. The massive 1993 flood from mid-June through mid-August caused $1.2 billion in losses in Illinois and 9 deaths. At retirement, Governor Edgar stated that the 1993 flood was the most trying event of his eight years in office. Then in July 1996 the worst flash flood in Illinois' recorded history struck northeastern Illinois after 17 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. This $0.8 billion deluge flooded the suburbs and south Chicago and resulted in six deaths. The generally increasing precipitation since the 1930s resulted in the century's highest levels of Lake Michigan during the 1980s, and these flood-like conditions did enormous damage to the Chicago water front and harbors. Today after two dry years and above normal temperatures, we are threatened by descending lake levels barely 0.5 foot above record low levels.

What exactly are the costs of floods and droughts in Illinois? One cost is in the form of human lives, with heat-related deaths ranking highest (74 deaths per year on average) compared to floods (5 deaths on average). Annual averages for other extremes include lightning (6 deaths), tornadoes (5 deaths), and winter storms (4 deaths).

Economic losses from floods have exceeded those from droughts, at least in the last 40 years. The severe 1988 drought produced an estimated $1 billion in losses to Illinois farmers and agribusinesses and $39 billion nationally. Prolonged droughts also affect urban and industrial water supplies, curtail river transport and degrade streamwater quality. Floods, like droughts, largely affect the state's agriculture, but also damage property; limit transportation by river, rail, and highway; and damage urban water supply plants and sewage treatment systems.

An important message to remember about both extremes and their impacts is that floods and droughts also produce "winners" in some sectors. For example, when the barges could not operate in the 1988 drought and the 1993 flood, Illinois' railroads benefitted by hauling diverted shipments. When the 1983 drought created huge crop losses in Iowa, prices went up and benefitted farmers in Illinois where conditions were less dry. Many communities struggling with inadequate local water supplies during a drought have acted afterwards to permanently improve their supply situation. Quite simply, all weather events create win-loss situations.

A recent analysis of flood losses across the U.S. revealed that Illinois ranks sixth nationally in the amount of flood losses, averaging $257 million annually (Iowa with $543 million ranks first). Recent national studies have concluded that recent increases in losses due to all forms of severe weather, including droughts and floods, are partially the result of climate fluctuations such as in an increase in precipitation since 1940 over much of the nation. However, the results clearly show that societal factors are more responsible for increased losses, and these factors include population growth, increased wealth, and demographic changes such as expansion into flood-prone lands and into agriculturally productive lands, and the movement to urban areas.

Two recent examples in Illinois demonstrate this point. The July 1996 record flood in the Chicago suburbs would have been much less damaging had it occurred in 1950 or 1920 when the flooded area was largely farmland. The July 1995 heat wave in Chicago, which had a much shorter duration but a comparable intensity to heat waves in 1931, 1934, and 1936, resulted in many more deaths than in any heat wave of the 1930s, illustrating how our changed urban society has become more vulnerable to such extremes. Illinois has been fortunate that no major droughts have occurred in the past 40 years. Population growth along with increased water demands and usage have set the stage for major future problems when droughts return, however.

It appears safe to predict that this ever increasing vulnerability of society to major weather extremes means that human and economic losses from floods and droughts in Illinois and elsewhere will continue to grow in the future. If the climate should shift to more extremes, then the problems for Illinois would be even worse.

WATER REUSE. John R. Sheaffer, Sheaffer International, L.L.C., Naperville, Illinois 60563

Each month approximately 6.8 million people are added to the world's population. However, the amount of land and water does not increase. This means one simple thing. The management of land and water needs to be more efficient today than it was last month to meet the needs of a growing population.

From a planning perspective, no new water was created today. All water is used water. Water reuse is a planning concept which warrants more attention. On a regional basis, water reuse is one of the most important tools to increase efficiency.

The Sheaffer Modular Reclamation and Reuse System (SMRRS) technology allows multiple uses of water in a cost effective and environmentally sound manner. The technology has been successfully demonstrated in Illinois. In the SMRRS, used water (wastewater) is collected and reclaimed in deep, heavily aerated treatment cells. The clean reclaimed water is then reused as an irrigation water supply to keep lawns lush and green or to boost agricultural crop production. The agricultural benefits of the SMRRS in Illinois are illustrated at the Saddlebrook Farms. The cropland irrigated with the reclaimed water produced 65 bushels of soybeans per acre in 1999 while the unirrigated cropland produced 32 bushels of soybeans. The reclaimed water can also be used as a water supply for fire protection.

When reclaimed water is applied to agricultural land at a rate necessary to provide adequate nitrogen for a growing crop (50 to 75 inches per year), a circular system is realized. Irrigated water plus rainfall minus evapotranspiration puts back into the groundwater (recharges) the amount of water that initially was removed for a domestic water supply. Circular systems will help to attain adequate water supplies for economic development in Illinois. Circular systems can replace linear systems which use water once, partially treat it, and discharge the used water (effluent) into a stream that flows away from the region. Circular systems are vital to our livelihood, and should be examined as an alternative in the planning process for all wastewater treatment proposals.

Water reuse achieves concurrently environmental values and economic well being. Profit margins for corporations increase when they reclaim and reuse their wastewater in a circular system. Similarly, a community has the potential to achieve the same benefits. Water reuse illustrates that environmental quality and economic profitability are synergistic. They are not mutually exclusive, as commonly thought by many people.

IMPACTS OF SURFACE WATER SUPPLY DEFICITS TO THE AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM. Lawrence M. Page, Center for Biodiversity, Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois 61820

The United States has the most diverse temperate stream biota in the world. Fishes, mussels, and crayfishes, the organisms for which the most complete information is available, are all more diverse in the U.S. than they are in other temperate regions. Unfortunately, anthropogenic activities are having largely negative impacts on the native diversity. Recent declines in populations of stream-inhabiting species in the U.S. are well documented. The best data are for Illinois, where two statewide surveys have been conducted on fishes and a third is in progress, a survey has been completed for crayfishes, and one is nearing completion for mussels.

The first survey of Illinois fishes was initiated in the 1870's and published in 1909. It documented the presence of 188 native and one nonnative species. The second survey, conducted mostly during the 1960's and early 1970's, was published in 1979 and showed that the number of native species reproducing in Illinois had dropped to 179 and the number of nonnative species had risen to seven. Recent data suggest that only 177 of our native fishes remain, and the number of nonnative species reproducing in Illinois has increased to 15. Many species are undergoing large changes in their distributions, and thirty-one native species of fishes (16%) are listed as endangered or threatened. The loss of mussels in Illinois has been even more dramatic. Of the 79 species for which historical records are available, 17 (22%) are extirpated, and another 24 (30%) are listed as endangered or threatened. An astonishing 52% of the native species are gone or in imminent danger of disappearing.

Most of the recent changes in the abundance and distributions of aquatic organisms are results of anthropogenic activities. Particularly detrimental are excessive siltation, channelization, desiccation resulting from lowering of the water table, pollution, drainage of bottomland lakes, impoundments, and introductions of nonnative species.

The removal of riparian vegetation, tiling of land for agriculture, and extraction of water for municipalities, industries and agriculture lead to stream desiccation and the loss of aquatic biodiversity. Almost 100 years ago, Forbes and Richardson (1909) noted the negative impacts of these activities on the Sangamon River, a typical Midwestern stream: "Formerly the flow of the river was more or less regular. This was due to the fact that the portion of the basin lying within the Shelbyville moraine was filled with swamps which absorbed the water as it fell and then gave it forth very gradually. Now, however, a very complete system of tile drainage carries off the water very quickly, and so leaves the river subject to low stages for a large part of the year." Land that once drained slowly drains quickly once it is tiled and riparian vegetation is removed. Rapid drainage of land increases the pulse of a flood and increases the intensity and duration of low-flow once the water has moved downstream. These artificially extreme fluctuations in water levels subject stream organisms to environmental conditions they are not adapted to and can lead to their extirpation.


There has been an explosion of interest in water efficiency around the country - and not just in the arid Western states. Increasingly, water managers throughout the U.S. are finding that investments that result in more efficient use of water are reducing system costs, improving reliability, and moderating upward pressure on rates.

For some, "water conservation" is simply a curtailment program for use during occasional drought episodes. Others view conservation as a misplaced policy for Midwestern communities where raw water supplies are considered abundant. On most systems, however, water conservation is a useful tool for saving money. Water efficiency is likely to be the least-cost source of additional treated drinking water, as well as the least-cost source of additional wastewater treatment capacity. And water efficiency programs can be fashioned to help achieve a system's most pressing water management objectives, whether they pertain to physical supply, infrastructure needs, or community relations. Cooperatively funded programs that save both energy and water are also possible.

This paper will introduce the "best management practice" (BMP) approach to identifying and evaluating investments in water efficiency. Current estimates of the documented needs for water and wastewater infrastructure in Illinois will be presented. Against this backdrop, six BMP's with particular application to Midwestern communities will be discussed.

ISWS Water Conference Home