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Lake Michigan Water Project

What can Fox Lake residents expect over the coming year?

  • Information on how our water system works and the cost of maintenance and capital projects
  • Continued communication from the Village about the need for a long term reliable source of water
  • An analysis of why we feel the Lake Michigan Water Allocation project will be instrumental in helping us meet this goal

Why is the Village trying to get Lake Michigan water?

The Village has consistently been an advocate for conserving our natural resources. However, our supply of water from all 4 Village Wells comes from shallow sand & gravel aquifer, 1 well drilled to a depth of 945 feet. Demand from usage is already high, and it continues to grow each year. Impervious surfaces (driveways, roads, parking lots, etc) are starting to diminish the aquifer’s ability to replenish itself and because of the shallow sand and gravel the ground water in this aquifer is susceptible to contamination.

If the shallow aquifer is drying up, why not drill another deep well instead?

Drilling a deep well, by tapping into the Cambrian-Ordovician aquifer, is an option we’ve explored prior to seeking an allocation for Lake Michigan water. This aquifer, however, is also being stressed due to excessive demands from the Chicago land region. In addition, treatment to remove specific chemicals associated with deep wells, such as radium, are expensive.

The Timeline:

  • 2006 North-West Lake County Water Planning Group formed with the County and 10 other Villages to explore the possibility of Lake Michigan water.
  • 2007 Feasibility study conducted
    • Step 1: determine if obtaining allocation possible
    • Step 2: determine if obtaining Lake Michigan is cost effective
  • 2007- Data collected from feasibility and cost analysis studies, application materials prepared, 2010 public hearings held. Final presentation to Illinois Dept of Natural Resources in March 2010
  • 2011 Village receives notice on January 19 that our application was approved for Fox Lake to access Lake Michigan water

Yearly Water Pumping Totals

South System (Town)
265,000,000 gallons per year

Tall Oaks 35,000,000 gallons per year 

  • Total number of ground water shallow wells in production: 2, with 2 smaller wells on emergency standby
  • The highest capacity well pumps 890 gallons/min at a depth of 265ft. The second shallow well pumps 725 gallons/min at a depth of 90ft.
  • Total capacity of the two water towers in town: 750,000 gallons
  • Total number of ground water shallow wells in production in the Tall Oaks System: 1, 1 small well on emergency stand by.
  • The highest capacity well at Tall Oaks pumps 650 gallons/min at a depth of 148ft. The second shallow well pumps 300 gallons/min at a depth of 150ft.
  • Total capacity of the Tall Oaks system reservoir: 500,000 gallons
  • The Village began an automated water meter system in 1997. Water Meters are annually flagged and those in excess of 1 Million Gallons are scheduled for change out. This program along with the Large Meter semi-annual testing has made our meter reading and billing more efficient. What once required 5 days to complete is now accomplished in 2. The program is also aggressively reducing the village’s water lose making water rates easier to set and manage.   
  • Evaluate all options (shallow wells, deep well, Lake Michigan water) based on 2011 costs and water needs
  • Conduct a full evaluation of all transmission options—including creating a new Joint Action Water Agency (JAWA), joining an existing JAWA, or entering into a retail agreement with a community already getting Lake water
  • Discuss funding options

Click the Links Below for More Information

Fox Lake Groundwater Supply Planning

Lake County Water Planning Project

Lake County Water Feasibility Study

Get informed, get involved. Attend a meeting, look on the web for information, or send an email with your questions. Resident input will be critical for a project this large.