Council Works to Keep Good Water Coming in, Dangerous Water Going Out of the City

By Jeremy Coumbes on May 25, 2021 at 9:50am

The City Council approved items related to utilities and public health and safety during their regular meeting last night.

A waver of bids and acceptance of a proposal for continuing repair work on the city’s collector well pump station. The pumps in the Ranney Pump House near Naples supply fresh water from the Illinois river up 23 miles of underground pipe to the Jacksonville Water Treatment Plant.

Jamie Headed with Benton & Associates says there are two main pumps that feed water to the city. He says the pumps push approximately 2700 gallons of water per minute to feed the treatment plant and they currently are in need of both general maintenance and repair.

Part of the well maintenance project is to analyze the pumps and how well they are doing. In this case there is a lot of rehabilitation that needs to be done to them. The action item tonight was to approve that.

The work will be done in about two weeks, the pumps will be out back in place and the wells will be back up and going probably in a month to sixty days. Right now we are on our alternative water source and then we will be able to go back to the Ranney well whenever we need to.”

Headen says currently two gravel pack wells are currently feeding the pipeline and some lake water is also being used by the treatment plant while the main pumps are being refurbished.

The Council also gave the approval to go forward with Alternative Number 3 from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Town Brook Strategic Planning Study for flood remediation.

Headen says after reviewing possible options at the last council meeting, the council decided to go with the option that was recommended by IDNR.

IDNR had recommended going with Alternative three, which is to install two culverts underneath each railroad track east of Hardin as the best alternative. So the City Council was needing to agree to that alternative, and then after that acceptance tonight, they will get with IDNR and they will issue a formal proposal for the work.

Then IDNR will be conducting the design and the construction of those items. They expect that to be done in a couple of years. So the hope is that within two years or maybe a little longer, the town brook flooding will be greatly reduced.”

In other business, the council approved an engineering agreement with Hutchison Engineering for improvements to North Diamond Street, including milling and refinishing the road up to and beyond Jacksonville High School.

The project will include all new sidewalks that are handicapped accessible with bicycle accommodations. Jim Burke with Hutchison says proceeds are from a grant attained with the help of State Senator Steve McClure.

Burke says they hope to have the grant process finalized so work can begin on the project later this year.