Flossmoor Water Supply Project
The Village of Flossmoor’s clean potable water supply is purchased from the Village of Homewood. Currently, Lake Michigan water that has been treated by the Chicago Department of Water Management at its Sawyer Water Purification Plant is sold to the City of Harvey and then to Homewood before being sold to the Village of Flossmoor.
Homewood is switching its water supplier from the City of Harvey to the City of Chicago Heights, which will, in turn, change the water supplier for the Village of Flossmoor.
Chicago Heights receives potable water from the City of Hammond, Indiana, which has its own Lake Michigan water intake and treatment plant.
Flossmoor will continue to receive Lake Michigan water. As part of the changeover, the Village of Flossmoor has conducted a series of water quality studies to ensure the transition from the Chicago-supplied Lake Michigan water to the Hammond-supplied Lake Michigan water is not anticipated to result in an increased likelihood of corrosion resulting in elevated lead or copper levels.
However, aesthetic variations including slight taste and odor differences may occur as a result of a change in the different treatment method between the two suppliers. Any taste or odor differences should be temporary and are not an indication of any health or safety concerns. If you are concerned by your water’s taste or odor or have any questions regarding the water quality in your area, please contact the Flossmoor Public Works Department at (708) 957-4100.
Chlorination is one of many methods that is used to disinfect water and protect it all the way to your home. The Chicago Department of Water Management uses chlorination to disinfect water, while Hammond, Indiana, uses a a process called chloramination to disinfect and protect the treated water. Chloramination adds steps during the treatment process, but uses less chlorine and develops equally as effective and longer lasting protection than chlorination. The IEPA recognizes both as common and approved treatment methods. Due to this difference, the period of transition may cause a change in odor or taste, it is not a risk to health or safety.
To prevent or mitigate aesthetic changes and to facilitate the water source transition, the Village of Flossmoor will conduct hydrant flushing. During hydrant flushing activities, residents are encouraged to participate in private side flushing by running faucets and showers for two to five minutes. The Village will notify residents via the Village website and written door hangers as to when private side flushing is encouraged.
The change in water sources is estimated to occur from late July 2022 through October 2022. While the water will be safe during the entirety of the transition, there may be aesthetic changes to the taste and odor of your water based on the different treatment procedures the two different suppliers use, both of which are safe and accepted treatment procedures. The water source will still be Lake Michigan and the water will be maintained at the highest quality.
The Village of Flossmoor will be on a fixed rate structure for the supply cost with the Village of Homewood for the next 25 years, the length of the contract between Homewood and Chicago Heights. The supply portion of the water rate will be capped at a 3 percent increase each year.
In addition to supplying more than 26,400 metered service connections within its own incorporated boundaries, Hammond conveys and sells potable water to the cities and towns of Griffith, Highland, Whiting and Munster, Indiana, as well as, South Holland, Calumet City, Ford Heights, Burnham, Lynwood, Lansing, Thornton, Glenwood and Chicago Heights, Illinois.
The Villages of Homewood and Flossmoor have been working diligently to follow all federal and state EPA guidelines and testing protocols. In November 2020, we started performing a corrosion control study to understand the potential impacts of the new potable water source on our system. We took actual water service pipe sections from the Villages of Homewood and Flossmoor systems and connected them to the pumping station we will use with the new supplier and then pumped the water through the pipes, just like we will when the new water source transmission line is operational.
Daily water samples (32,964 as of 9/9/2021) have been taken from this “test system”, and all data has shown that the new system will provide the high-quality water our customers expect. This study will also inform the steps we will take before transitioning the water line to ensure we are prepared to mitigate any aesthetic issues that may come up. Daily testing will continue throughout the transition to the new water supplier.
Additionally, each step of this project has been regulated and approved by the Illinois EPA, including the appropriate permitting to enable the switch from water suppliers.