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Montgomery, IL – Streamline Montgomery. The long-range water sustainability plan of action and three-phase approach the Village of Montgomery is rolling out this fall includes water meter replacement, monthly water billing, and selecting an alternate water source option. In addition, the Village is using the campaign to promote transparency and best educate residents and Village water users (Boulder Hill residents) on the changes and improvements coming to the utility water services provided by the Village.
The Village is forward-thinking when it comes to water and touts its official title of Lead-Free obtained earlier this year by removing all lead service lines, the line that runs from the water main to the inside of the house to the water meter.
The Montgomery Public Works and Water Utility Billing teams have been working hard to increase accuracy further and reduce water waste. Water waste or water loss is often due to aging infrastructure or pipes, system leaks, or household plumbing issues. In the first phase of Streamline Montgomery, the team has committed to working towards water meter installation throughout the service area and the Village. Currently, 30% of homes have received an updated water meter replacement, both residential and commercial, at no additional cost to the customer. Beginning November 8 contracted vendor United Meters, Inc. (UMI) will replace an additional 1,200 meters in the Village before April 2022. The Village Public Works Department will install an additional 500 in the same time frame. The three subsequent years will include another 4,400 new meters to update all water meter technology before the spring of 2025.
The next phase in the Streamline Montgomery plan of action includes moving to a monthly water billing cycle for Village of Montgomery water customers in January of 2022. The addition of new meter technology and monthly water billing will allow the Village to better track consumption and give homeowners greater insight into their water use. In addition, the water billing process is often how residents become aware of household water leaks or pipe issues.
So why make the changes to our water system in Montgomery? In short, our region is facing a long-term water source sustainability issue. The deep sandstone aquifer that the Village primarily depends on is being used beyond sustainable capacity, and water levels are declining. The Illinois State Water Survey predicts wells in our area will be at risk of well inoperability by 2050.
The third phase of Streamline Montgomery includes a decision hopefully by mid-2022 on the future alternate water source from its current deep sandstone aquifer source. Even though the Village is not at immediate risk of the deep-water wells drying up, it is on the horizon in most of the resident’s lifetime. Village officials and staff are pressing forward to determine the best alternative for a future water supply and strongly encourage residents to learn about water sustainability and the future of the region's water source. Residents are invited to attend an upcoming open house held at Montgomery's Village Hall (200 N. River St.) on Wednesday, November 3, 5-7P. Engineers and community officials will be on hand to walk you through exhibits and answer questions about the future of the region's water.
With the underground pool of freshwater that supplies the drinking water to the region is slowly drying up, the Village is ultimately looking to create a long-term strategic plan and solution. "The goal is a safe, reliable water source for generations to come, and it is important to the Village to provide for transparency, resident education, and community feedback throughout the subsequent phases of this process," says Montgomery Public Works Director Mark Wolf.
For residents wishing to learn more about the project, the Village encourages them to stay updated on the Village Website and social media. Additionally, Village officials strongly urge Montgomery water customers to read the information included with their water utility bills. The staff will be sharing more about Streamline Montgomery throughout this decision-making process as information and updates become available.
For more information visit MontgomeryIL.org.