There are two lights
installed on the side of the water tower.
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.
light will turn on whenever the water pressure fails below a critical
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.
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
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
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.
9045 N. River Road, Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46240
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.
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
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
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
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
Q: How much will it cost if I want my water line going into my house
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.
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
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
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
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.
Problems and Solutions:
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.)
Individual commercially available water
softeners are the solution. Culligan, Shirley Hipple, Schippert, and
others market these salt based systems.
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.
There are several causes with different solutions:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are several sources:
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.
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:
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.
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
Reverse osmosis. These are usually small units attached to the
drinking or ice maker lines to produce clear water. They are also very
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!
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.