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Publication Abstract

Artificial Ground-water Recharge at Peoria, Illinois Suter, Max, and Robert H. Harmeson, 1960  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS B-48    Full Text Available

The City of Peoria in central Illinois is located in an urban area which is rich in water resources. Included in the area are Peoria, Peoria Heights, East Peoria, Creve Coeur, and Bartonville. The water resources support a population of approximately 150,000 as well as an industrial concentration of distilleries, breweries, and manufacturers of earth-moving equipment, steel products, and chemicals. All these industries use large volumes of water and many of them require low-temperature water for their processes.

Population growth together with increasing per capita consumption of water, vigorous industrial development, and the requirement for low-temperature water contributed to the creation of a water shortage despite the large resources. The Illinois River, which flows through this metropolitan area with a minimum recorded flow of 2300 cubic feet per second (cfs), was used only to alimited extent as a source of water, owing to its traditional pollution and its high temperatures during the summer. The Peoria Water Works Company and most of the industries used ground water from the local alluvial and glacial deposits.

As a consequence of the ever-increasing demand for low-temperature ground water, the water levels in well fields receded steadily because pumpage exceeded replenishment by natural recharge and, by 1940, had reached such an alarming level that the Water Survey Division was requested into make a study of the situation. The results of this study were published in a bulletin (1) which presented the geologic, hydrologic, and chemical conditions of the local ground-water area; determined the over-pumpage of ground water to be between 8 and 10 million gallons per day (mgd); and demonstrated the need to adopt conservation measures and some method of artificial recharge.

Ground-water law in Illinois gives exclusive rights for use to the landowner, even though such use may deprive others of their supply. The landowner is restricted from unlawful pollution or malicious depletion of the supply. The fact that the well owners of the Peoria area were able to practice self-imposed conservation measures is a tribute to their cooperative approach to the existing water supply problem. The development and use of artificial recharge, as part of the solution to the problem, was delegated to personnel of the Water Survey Division. Although the immediate objective was relief from the existing ground-water shortage, the Survey hoped to obtain information on artificial recharge methods and techniques that could have application in other areas of the State.

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