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City Council studies water utility improvements




Decatur, IL – The Decatur City Council met Monday evening to learn more about recent improvements to the water system and discuss what strategies the City should pursue to ensure a resilient supply of water for both drinking and industrial purposes.

Future water utility improvements

The main discussion was about improving the supply of potable (drinking) and non-potable water. The City has been fortunate to have significant industrial expansion in the northeast quadrant of Decatur. This has resulted in an increased need for water supply to this area. Council studied ways the City can reach this goal while also continuing to ensure there is enough water supply for drought resilience.

Council members agreed the best strategies moving forward are to consider gaining access to nearby water sources: the former Vulcan Pit, Lake Tokorozawa and Lake Rhodes, and the DeWitt County Wellfields. Reclaiming the pit and two lakes would require new piping and pumping systems, and the DeWitt Wellfields need control updates and a switch to an electric pumping system.

To get more water to the northeast, Council directed staff to continuing researching options and possibly ask the Intera consultants to do another study that will further determine next steps. Most members indicated they want to support investment to help attract future economic development in the area.

We will follow up with more information about these strategies when action items come before City Council in future meetings. 

Recent water projects

City Council also learned about recent water capital projects and took a tour of the South Water Treatment Plant (SWTP) to see the results.

  • Claricone Project: This summer the City completed a $14.1 million upgrade to its water clarifiers. Two clarifiers were replaced with Claricone technology. This is where water comes in from the lake and starts the treatment to become drinking water. The new Claricone technology is much simpler, requires less electricity and maintenance to operate, and treats more water than the original clarifiers.
  • Chemical Feed System: The SWTP also got an upgrade to the chemical feed system. There are many chemicals used to purify lake water into drinking water.

No action was taken at Monday night’s meeting. It was a study session only. Projects to improve the water system will likely come to a vote before City Council in future meetings. More information about these topics can be found in the City Council Study Session packet, downloadable/viewable here:

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