Indian Creek Water

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Water Commissioner is Bob Hancock

Home Phone: 728-2990
Home Email: oldcars@frontiernet.net
Cell: 309-242-1801

Information About Your Water System:

INDIAN CREEK HOMEOWNER'S WATER ASSOCIATION
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REPORTS


Warning Lights:

There are two lights installed on the side of the water tower. 

A green light is always on whenever electricity is available to the water tower.  If the green light is not on, it means either that no power is available – or that the bulb has burned out.

A red light will turn on whenever the water pressure fails below a critical level.

Please notify the water commissioner or any board member if you ever notice that the green light is NOT on, or if the red light IS on.

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When you dig:

Please Read before digging:

Call JULIE: 800-892-0123

The State of Illinois considers ICWHA a municipality since it is a provider of water to its residents.  As such, ICWHA is legally required to be a member of JULIE, a cooperative that notifies all potentially impacted JULIE members of locate requests which may affect their assets.

Most municipalities (including Bloomington and Normal) subcontract out these requests to locate water assets.  The companies that perform these services have the proper equipment and training to definitively mark the location of the water main and the shut-off valve.  The ICWHA Water Chair had been performing these locates using a metal detector and a set of construction (designed) blueprints for the water system.  These blueprints were not updated after the system was installed and in some cases were not accurate.  It seemed prudent to have trained professionals with the appropriate sophisticated equipment to perform this work for ICWHA.  Additionally, a locating services can provide other services to help protect the ICWHA water system that would be almost impossible for ICWHA to perform itself.

Indian Creek Water and Homeowner Association entered into an agreement on January 16, 2012 with USIC Locating Services, Inc., an Indiana Corporation, to begin providing locates effective February 1, 2012.  The main reason for this change was economics ($20 per locate versus $100) and the fact they could map locates that were just within our sub-division.   

USIC Locating Services, Inc.
Attn: Contracts
9045 N. River Road, Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN  46240

If you need to dig, the homeowner has the responsibility to call JULIE because it is the law.  JULIE will notify USIC Locating Services, Inc. to mark the lines of the water provider, electricity provider, & gas because those conduits are assets owned by their respective vendors.  Gas and electric do get marked to the house, but phone and water lines generally do not get marked to the house.  Marking the line into the house for water is not part of the fee the Association pays JULIE when a homeowner calls. 

NOTE:  If the homeowner desires to have the water line mapped between the outside shut-off (curb stop) to their home exclusively, this charge is on the homeowner, not the association and you will be billed a nominal fee separately.

If you need water locates to the house ask JULIE to include a note to have this done while they are out marking the primary lines.  You will not need to call USIC Locating Services.     


Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Will I have to pay USIC Locating Services if I am going to dig in my yard?
A:  No!  ICWHA will pay USIC Locating Services.  It is illegal for ICWHA to ask homeowners to pay for a JULIE locate request.

Q:  Will it cost a lot to have USIC Locating Services perform this service for our neighborhood?
A:  Relatively speaking, it is anticipated that these costs will not exceed $20 per locate.  There could be an additional charge for problem tickets, but most will cost $20 per locate.

Q:  I noticed that the blue paint and flags only mark the water line up to my shut-off.  What if I need to know where my water line enters my home?
A:  Consistent with the way other municipalities handle JULIE locate requests, USIC Locating Services responsible to mark the water main(s) and the water shut-off which are ICWHA assets.  If the homeowner would like any water lines coming out of the shut-off which lead into the home marked, the locate costs associated with marking those assets, which are the property of the homeowner, will be paid by the homeowner.

Q:  How much will it cost if I want my water line going into my house marked?
A:  Provided the request occurs while USIC Locating Services is performing that homeowner’s JULIE locate, the additional charge will usually be $20 or less.  The cost will be substantially higher if after hours, weekends, holidays, or if USIC Locating Services must make a service call exclusively to mark the homeowner’s water line.

 

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Source and Supply:

The aquifer that is our source of water is roughly 100 feet beneath the surface of the ground at our pump site. Our registered hydrologist from Farnsworth & Wyle explained that the water table is discontinuous in the Indian Creek area.

 It is not uniform in that we are on a boundary area adjacent to an ancient prehistoric ice age riverbed to our northwest. The result is that six test holes drilled came up with much different results. The strongest source by far is where our current well is drilled. We would have preferred it to be adjacent to the tower, but the test hole there was deeper and not as strong. The second strongest source is at the extreme southwest corner of the common area next to the Towanda Barnes Road. Its problem is that it is very shallow (about 40 feet) and the engineers felt there was a risk of the water being polluted by chemical runoff from farmers’ fields in that vicinity. All test holes came up with various sand, gravel, and rock formations at different levels.

 The water table at our well is about 90 feet down and the hole goes down another 30 feet or so. It is an extremely strong source as indicated by what is called the cone of depression test. In this test the static water level is measured before pumping. Then the pump is started at a given pumping rate and for a specified period of time. As the pumping stops, the static water level is again measured. The difference in the readings is a measure of how fast the water is being withdrawn from the aquifer. The less difference in the readings, the stronger the supply. Our well measured a cone of depression of four feet. A satisfactory reading for our system would be 20 feet.

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Delivery System:

Our well consists of an eight inch casing and a RedJacket 4 HP submersible pump with brass impeller unit. It is controlled by two electrical boxes at the top of the well. We have a spare electrical box for the left hand unit containing circuit protectors and voltage regulators. The switch that actually commands the pump to run is contained within the tower. It has two settings, one is manual run in which case the pump will keep running regardless of how much water is in the tower, and an automatic setting which should be used normally to call for the pump to run when a minimum threshold has been reached in the tower.

There are two limits in the tower for the water levels. The upper limit protects the tower from overflowing. The lower limit tells when the pump should be turned on. These limits may be adjusted as the weather changes to keep freezing from being a problem in the tower. The base of the tower is heated in the winter. There is one line coming into the tower from the well, a meter showing hundreds of gallons pumped, feeder lines for the chlorine, a branch to the top of the tower, and an output line to two main lines to the subdivision. Farnsworth & Wyle was the consulting engineer on the system. Contrary to statements made by several contractors, our system does conform to all state and federal codes.

The hydrants are for flushing only; they are not to be used for direct connections to fight fires. If a pumper truck were to connect directly to the hydrant, our plastic pipes could be easily imploded.

The main lines running from the tower are 4" and feeders are 2". Most of the system is plastic PCV and there are two different kinds of connections as indicated on the blue prints. The lines are approximately four feet underground but due to fill in caused by erosion, these depths may vary considerably

The tower holds about 40,000 gallons of water and there is a single line from the bottom of the tower to the top. The water comes down this pipe when the pump is not running to supply the system. The water goes up this pipe when the pump is running to fill the tower.

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Problems and Solutions:

There is a generalized solution to all of our water quality problems but it is expensive. If we were to construct a municipal water treatment facility, all problems would disappear, including hardness, air, tannins, iron, etc. This has been discussed at a Homeowners meeting and rejected due to cost. Such a system would cost about $200,000 and the maintenance expenses would be high. More chemicals would be needed and more time would be needed by the certified operator to run the system. (Editorial comment- many of our residents have come from urban areas where these kinds of facilities are the norm and they expect that kind of water here. There is a disappointment when someone moves to the country for the first time and finds that the water is not the same as in the city.)

Hardness
Individual commercially available water softeners are the solution. Culligan, Shirley Hipple, Schippert, and others market these salt based systems.

Air
Air relief valves exist to correct this problem. However, the Homeowners Association installed two of these at one house with very limited success. We cannot correct this problem at the system level since there are times that the water is being pumped directly from the well into the distribution system before actually going to the top of the tower for aeration. Air traps exist within the system that cannot be found, much less fixed. At the individual home level, different opportunities exist for trapped air to collect at spots in the pipes. The best advice I can give is to be aware of the problem and let the air blow out when you first turn on the water.

Low Pressure
There are several causes with different solutions:

  1. Lost system pressure. This is a boil order situation when the pressure goes below 20 pounds per square inch. This can result from one of two possibilities:

    a.  Leak. If a pipe in the distribution system is broken, low or no pressure is possible. There is nothing the homeowner can do other than report the situation.

    b.  No water in tower. This is caused by either the pump not working or the demand on the system is so great that we can't meet it. Again, the homeowner is without recourse other than reporting.
     

  2. Too many open valves within the home. If too many people are trying to use the water at one time within the home, reduced pressure is a certainty. One form of this problem that frequently goes unnoticed is that the timer gets put off due to a power outage and the result is that a softener runs during the day when someone is trying to use water for other purposes. The solution is to turn something off.

  1. Constriction within the home system. There are many possibilities where a contractor or water system person has constricted the pipes at some point to reduce pressure. One important point to be kept in mind relative to pressure is that gravity is the source of our water pressure. The pump in the well does not provide the pressure. Aside from the situations already mentioned, everyone should have the same pressure if they are at the same elevation relative to the tower. The people living on higher ground will tend to have lower water pressure. A single faucet open should provide three gallons per minute. There is no way that we can increase pressure on a system basis. Homeowners should keep this in mind if they are considering automatic watering systems for their yards. We do not have enough pressure to supply water concurrently to several sprinkler heads at one residence. A way must be designed to alternate which sprinklers are on at any given point in time.

Unclear Water
There are several sources:

  1. Suspended sediment or particulate matter. This is material that naturally exists in the water and concentrates and settles at low points in the system. We flush the system on every Thursday, weather permitting, at about 9:00am to correct this problem. The sediment is stirred up by an increase in the velocity of the water through system. This can happen due to flushing or peak temporary demands on the system. That is why this seems to be an intermittent problem. The best action for someone to take to clear this problem is to run an outside hose until the water clears up. Keep in mind that if the dirty water has already made it into the house, it may be in the water heater and take a day or two to clear up.
     

  1. Yellow or light tea colored water. The cause of this was debated and the following explanation is from the State Water Survey in Champaign, an unbiased agency. The primary culprit is tannin, the same ingredient used to color Coke. This is secreted from tree roots and leeches through the ground to the water table. It is not sediment. There are two basic removal techniques:

a.   Charcoal filters in line with the softening system. This is effective and introduces no harmful chemicals into the water.
There is a drawback. The chlorine put in our water to remove bacteria will attach itself to the charcoal filter. The result is that the filter loses its effectiveness slowly and after a few months must be changed.

    1.  A chemical filter such as potassium permanganate. These systems are generally available and are effective. Although denied by the vendors, there is some evidence that these chemicals do get into the drinking water.

    2. Reverse osmosis. These are usually small units attached to the drinking or ice maker lines to produce clear water. They are also very effective.

Shut-off Valve
Is there a way to get debris (mainly dirt) out of the pipe when the shut-off is located in a PVC pipe in a driveway? This may not be an easy task especially if rocks have wedged their way inside the PVC pipe. You might try a small spoon to see if you can get the majority of the debris out. Though this is labor intensive, it is worth a try. If that doesn't work you might try a garden hose and let the water run slowly. If the pipe is just filled with soil, it might settle down below where the shut-off valve is located. If you find that the water is not going down the pipe, you might try a power washer. If that doesn't work you can give up and take your chances you will not have to ever shut off that valve or you may have to break up some of the concrete to get to the valve. I hope that is not necessary!

Pressure Tank
Would adding a pressure tank to my home help with the water pressure? A pressure tank works well as long as you do not need long term high water pressure. For example, if you were wanting to water your lawn the bladder inside of the tank could not keep up with the demand. If you are just wanting better pressure throughout the house, then yes a water pressure tank works well. Also, if you do install one of these devices make sure you put a backflow device in place to prevent water from feeding back towards the water source. You can find these water pressure tanks at Menard's, Lowe's and Home Depot. Of course, we have a local plumber, Pete Spencer in our own subdivision who can probably assist with any of your plumbing needs.

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This page was last updated Tuesday May 29, 2012.