Our Most Precious Natural Resource
Gone are the days when we could take a plentiful supply of clean water for granted. Today, water is regarded as one of our most precious natural resources. We in the Village of Palatine Department of Public Works are committed to assuring that an ample supply of high quality water is available for our residents and businesses.
The Water Supply
Though most of us give little thought to where the water that flows from the tap comes from, it took years of planning and an investment of millions of dollars to take the steps necessary to assure that the water would continue to flow.
In the early 1980s, the Village of Palatine joined with four other municipalities to form the Northwest Water Commission. The Commission built a pipeline from Evanston to deliver Lake Michigan water to the member suburbs. The transition from well water to Lake Michigan water occurred in 1986. And although all water in Palatine comes from Lake Michigan, several wells are kept operational in case of an emergency.
Lake Michigan water enters the Village at two points. North Supply is located north of Palatine High School on Rohlwing Road and South Supply is located on Michigan Avenue near the Combined Services Facility. The lake water is stored at these two locations in ground storage tanks, then pumped through the system to all areas of the Village.
Water Treatment and Testing
The Department of Public Works Water Division takes 66 water samples per month throughout the system to ensure that our drinking water is clean and safe. The water is fluoridated in Evanston with a 1.0/ppm (parts per million) concentration. Chlorine is added to keep the water supply safe. The Village of Palatine strictly adheres to all water quality standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Water System Maintenance
The Water Division performs year round maintenance to assure that water will reach your home in a trouble-free manner. Sophisticated electronic equipment monitors the water flow at all points in the system and alerts us to any possible malfunctions.
An important part of the water system maintenance program is annual flushing of all fire hydrants in the Village. The flushing not only assures that the hydrant is working correctly, but also helps clean out the water system by removing minerals and sediments which have settled in the pipes.
Our water system is composed of 301.2 miles of watermain. Valves are located throughout the system so that in the unlikely event one section has to be shut down to do repair work, only a few homes, instead of the whole Village, will be without water for a short time.
Signs of Trouble
Although the water system is designed to operate without problems, occasionally a situation may arise which requires attention.
- If you ever see water bubbling out of the ground or if you notice an unusual amount of water standing in an otherwise dry area, contact the Department of Public Works. These are indications that there may be a watermain break.
- The Village is responsible for the main water line which runs in front of your home. The service line which runs from the main line to your water meter is the homeowner's responsibility. If you need to have the water to your home turned off and cannot turn it off at the meter, call us and we will send a Water Division employee to turn the water off at the house service line in the parkway.
- Water pressure is always kept at an even level. If you have a problem with an individual faucet, it is probably due to a clogged sieve in the faucet itself. If you are experiencing water pressure problems throughout the house, call us. We will send a service technician to inspect your water meter and to help you identify the source of the problem.
Water can no longer be thought of as an unlimited natural resource. In order to help conserve water during peak-demand summer months, the Village of Palatine has an ordinance prohibiting lawn sprinkling from 12:00 noon until 6:00 p.m. from May 15 through September 15 of each year.
Water Conservation Measures
There are eleven million people in Illinois, each using an average of 160 gallons of water per day. If each of us takes some small steps to use less water, it can make a big difference in conserving this precious natural resource.
- Use as little water as possible when washing your car; use a bucket instead of letting the hose run. Water lawns and gardens early in the morning to minimize water loss from evaporation.
- Turn off water in sinks, showers, and baths when not using them. Repair all leaks immediately. Install a low-flush or air-assisted toilet. Buy water-efficient appliances.
- Install shower restrictors to reduce the amount of water used. Report accidental spills or illegally dumped waste to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.