Lake Zurich is again exploring what it needs to do and how much it would cost to start using Lake Michigan as its water source.
The Board of Trustees held a workshop Saturday to get background and find out what its next steps should be as it decides whether the village should keep using its deep well system or hook up to Lake Michigan water.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources gave Lake Zurich an allocation in 2011 to use Lake Michigan as a water source, but the village never moved forward on the issue.
Now, Lake Zurich is on a timetable. The village needs to start making some movement on the allocation by 2015 or face the possibility of losing its chance to use Lake Michigan water. Additional, the deadline to put an advisory referendum on next spring’s ballot is December 31.
Greg Gruen, of Manhard Consulting, guided trustees through a presentation Saturday providing background and explaining what steps the village needs to take next.
Lake Zurich needs to explore the pros and cons of each scenario as well as determine the cost of each, he said. Regardless of which direction the village takes, it will need to explore financing alternatives because its infrastructure needs to be upgraded, he said.
Lake Zurich gets its water from five deep wells that draw from an aquifer called the Ironton-Galesville aquifer.
The water quality is good, but Lake Zurich must treat it to remove radium, Gruen said. The radium is removed and the discharge goes into the village’s wastewater, into the sludge that is formed then it is goes to area farms.
Government standards for the radium removal are getting strict and Lake Zurich must start dealing with how what it does with the radium discharge, Gruen said. Additionally, it is getting harder to find farms that want the sludge, he said.
The workshop drew a few residents who urged the board to carefully consider its options. One resident asked the village consider having businesses pay for Lake Michigan water and another raised concerns about the safety of Lake Michigan water.
Gruen will give the board another presentation in November.