Indian Creek Water

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Water Commissioner is Jim Larson

Phone: 309-826-5929
Email:
Jlarz07@gmail.com

Information About Your Water System:

INDIAN CREEK HOMEOWNER'S WATER ASSOCIATION
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REPORTS


Water Tower 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 falls below a critical level.

Please notify the water chairman 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:

Call JULIE before digging: 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 has attempted these locates in the past 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 are not accurate.  It seemed prudent to have trained professionals with the appropriate sophisticated equipment to perform this work for ICWHA.  Additionally, a locating service 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, LLC, to begin providing locates effective February 1, 2012.  The main reason for this change was economics and the fact they could map locates that were just within our sub-division. The contract was revised at USIC's demand in May 2021 establishing an annual service fee, increasing the charges per locate and updating other contract terms.

USIC does not assume any liability for incorrectly marking utility lines so it is important homeowners take an active role in being sure utilities are properly marked and work with contractors or other parties involved in digging to be sure utilities are not damaged. This is the homeowner's responsibility. USIC requires notification within 24 hours if utility lines are damaged so they can inspect the damage and assist in determining responsibility. Please contact a Board member immediately if utilities are damaged after requesting locate services through JULIE  
 

USIC Locating Services, LLC
Attn: Contracts
9045 N. River Road, Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN  46240
contracts@USICLLC.com

If you need to dig, the homeowner has the responsibility to call JULIE because it is the law.  JULIE will notify USIC Locating Services, LLC to mark the lines of the water provider, electricity provider, communications & gas because those conduits are assets owned by their respective vendors.  Gas and electric get marked to the house, but communication 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 or contractor calls for utility locate services.  Please discuss with JULIE exactly what lines you wish to be marked and if you want communication and water lines marked to the house.

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 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 except as noted regarding marking water lines to the house.

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.  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 lines, 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 likely not be too expensive, but homeowners should discuss the charge with USIC. The cost will likely be substantially higher if after hours, weekends, holidays,or if USIC Locating Services must make a separate call exclusively to mark the homeowner's water line. Please request an estimate if you are concerned about the cost.

 

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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 (not touching or adjacent) 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 near the road to Towanda. 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. Our system conforms to all state and federal codes.

The main lines running from the tower are 4" and feeders are 2". Most of the system is plastic PVC 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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Flushing Hydrants:

The hydrants are for flushing only; they are not to be used for direct connections to fight fires. If a pumper truck was to connect directly to the hydrant, our plastic pipes could be easily imploded. There are 7 flushing hydrants throughout Indian Creek. Flushing hydrants are located at 1 Candle Ridge Rd., 6 Pepper Wood Ct., 10 Timber Creek Rd., 26 Eastwood Ct., 12 Eastwood Ct., 1 Bent Tree Lane, and 21 Bent Tree Lane. Hydrants are flushed during warm weather months to improve water clarity. A schedule of days and times when flushing will be done will be published in the ICHWA newsletter. If you notice a sharp decrease in water pressure, consider the day and time of the week.

Electrical Connection to Water Tower and Well Pump:

There are two primary electrical lines that flow into the subdivision underground. One serves the water tower and the other the well pump. If there is no power to the houses, one should assume that there is no power at the tower or well pump. While there could be power at one location, the system will not operate without both locations having power. Depending on when the power goes out the tower may hold 1-2 days of water. If one of our communication systems fails, there may be no prior notice until there is no water at all. Please be considerate and conserve water during these times and always have bottled water on hand as a back-up.

Cellular OmniSite Monitoring System:

In 2013 a Cellular OmniSite Monitoring System was installed at the water tower so we could be notified quicker of possible outages. Essentially, the unit will send a message when power is interrupted, low battery or signal strength. The unit can send emails, phone calls and text messages. Currently, the system is set up to send an email to the Water Chairman and will make phone calls in a designated order to all board members and the water operator. The system will continue to make phone calls until someone acknowledges the call. The next course of action after receiving one of these calls would be to inspect the tower and/or pump location to see what might be the problem and take appropriate action. If the power outage is because of a storm, it may be as simple for the Water Chairman to call the power company to alert them of the situation. If a homeowner notices a problem, contact one of the other board members. Also, it may be necessary for a board member to call our water operator for further assistance.

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Communication to the Subdivision:

1) If there is a boil order because pressure in the water system primary lines drops below 20 psi or bacterial was detected during an EPA sample it is important for the Water Chairman or other designated person to communicate with the homeowners of Indian Creek as soon as possible. An email will be sent to all residences who have given us their email addresses for the newsletter.
2) Those without email addresses will be given a phone call and/or message on their answering machine.
3) Signs will be posted at each of the entrances to Indian Creek with the following messagesdepending on the situation:

a. NO WATER
b. CONSERVE & BOIL WATER
c. BOIL ORDER LIFTED

Problems and Solutions:


Water Shut-off (commonly called a Curb Stop):

All homes have an indoor water main shut-off in a basement or crawlspace, but each home also has an outdoor shut-off called a curb stop. The Water Chairman, water operator and some board members have maps that show the location of these shut-offs. Unfortunately, some of the maps are inaccurate as they were made before some of the houses were finished and the shut offs were placed in a different location. The shut-off is 3-4 feet below grade and some can be difficult to locate because the mains are plastic and the only metal part is the cap, pipe and shut-off itself. We are regulated as a municipality so whenever you call JULIE, we have contracted with USIC Locating Services, Inc. to try and locate the waterlines leading up to the shut-offs. (See section titled, “Call JULIE Before Digging”.

If you know where the shut-off valve is located and would like to shut the water off yourself, you may borrow a tool from the Water Chairman. The tool will remove the cap and has a special adaptor to shut off the water. It only takes a quarter turn on the valve to completely shut off the water unlike your faucets inside.

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 or you are not comfortable trying to operate the shutoff,  you may wish to contact a plumber to evaluate what might need to be done to access the valve. This would be at the homeowner’sexpense.

Water Quality

There is a generalized solution to our water quality issues, but it is very expensive. If we were to construct a municipal water treatment facility, water quality issues would be resolved, including hardness, air, tannins, iron, etc. This has been discussed at Homeowners meetings and rejected due to cost. Such a system would cost about $200,000 based on prices in 1980’s and the maintenance expenses would be high. More chemicals would be needed and more time would be needed by the certified water operator to run the system. (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, Aquality, 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 we 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 in the primary system lines (not as measured in the home service lines). 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 on the water softener 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Low pressure due to hydrant flushing. This is not a water system pressure issue.

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 periodically as described in the "Flushing Hydrant" section. The sediment is stirred up by an increase in the velocity of the water through the 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.
     
  2. 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:

    aCharcoal 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.

Water Operator:

Because we are regulated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, we have contracted with a certified water operator. He monitors the chlorine and fluoride that are added to our water. Also, he is available for questions, keeps us in compliance with all state and federal water standards and makes recommendations when necessary. Please contact our ICWHA Water Chair person or other Board members with water related questions. The chairperson will contact our water operator, if needed.

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 duration 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 or through a plumber.

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Shared Well Information:

Are You Considering Re-financing or Buying a New Home?

Some board members have received inquiries from homeowners, realtors, and even mortgage companies asking for "Shared Well Agreements", or "Joint Use and Maintenance Agreement for Shared Wells", or "what are the nitrate and chloroform levels in your water?" Previously, for questions about a well agreement, individuals were told that our subdivision did not have such an agreement; however, our covenants mention that the subdivision has a commitment to a water source. We have since learned that a "Shared Well Agreement" language does not apply to our subdivision. Although we are on a well system, we are treated much like a municipality (i.e. Normal or Bloomington), but on a smaller scale. Fluoride and chlorine are added, monitored and samples are submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as required by law.

Shared Well Agreements are between a few homeowners (2-10) that share a well, but are not subjected to strict testing or reporting guidelines. Examples of homeowners falling into this category would be people who live in the Lamplighter subdivision. Also, if the mortgage company desires specific information about water quality and sample levels, please refer them to the following web site: www.epa.state.il.us/water/drinking-water-watch/ Click on Drinking Water Watch and enter Water System Number, IL1135250. There is much information about our water on this site.

Source for information above was provided by Jim Larson.

 

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