Lack of rain not a concern in Western Springs
Quinn Murphy of La Grange, a seasonal employee in the La Grange Public Works Department, gives a good soaking to the flowers at the Stone Avenue train station June 15 in anticipation of more hot weekend weather and an uncertain rain forecast. | Jane Michaels~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 22, 2012 7:37PM
The lack of rain this spring on the heels of a light winter hasn’t let to concern for the water supply, according to Western Springs officials.
Western Springs obtains its water from its own wells rather than getting its water from Lake Michigan. Every year, the Water Department serves more than 4,400 customers by pumping water from local wells to the treatment plant at 614 Hillgrove. There, water is softened and purified before it is pumped into the distribution system for consumer use.
Up until May 1 of this year, Western Springs didn’t have restrictions on water usage. During past years, residents were asked to voluntarily observe conservancy.
Now, restrictions are in effect, but more to do with work at the water plant than drought conditions. The water plant in Western Springs has been under construction since November and construction should be completed this upcoming fall.
No water from the public water supply system can be used outdoors between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on any day of the week for sprinkling and irrigation of lawns and gardens, car washing or other non-potable uses.
Residents are permitted to use outdoor water, based on an even/odd system, before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. The last digit of an address determines the day. Residents with an address ending in an even number may water on even calendar days; if the address ends in an odd number, they can water on odd calendar days. Zero is considered an even number.
A watering container or hose may be used at any time to water gardens, trees or shrubs if the watering device is used by hand and is not unattended.
Residents with new sod or seed may water daily before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. for 30 days after installation of the sod, but must notify the Department of Municipal Services for an exemption.
The restrictions will be enforced with the issuance of tickets for violations.
“So far we have only had to issue warnings. We have yet to issue a ticket,” said Matt Supert, acting director in Municipal Services. “Residents have been very cooperative.”
To report violations, contact the police nonemergency number at 708-246-8540. Any questions regarding the water restrictions may be directed to the Department of Municipal Services, 708-246-1800, Ext. 205 or email@example.com.
The restrictions are because, while under rehabilitation, the water plant has limited output capabilities and the use of outdoor water must be restricted in order to maintain an adequate supply of potable drinking water and adequate reserves for fire protection.
Western Springs has three wells, two are deep and one is shallow. The village is using two of the wells, Well 4 (which is deep), and Well 1 (which is shallow).
The dry weather should not affect fireworks display for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, said La Grange Fire Chief Bill Bryzgalski.
The La Grange County Club, 620 S. Brainard Ave., hosts a fireworks display at dusk July 3, and the Park District of La Grange sponsors fireworks July 20 for Family Fest at Gordon Park, La Grange Road and Ogden Avenue.
Bryzgalski said restrictions are unlikely because the golf course regularly waters fairways and greens, and the rough grass is longer to retain moisture. The golf course is under the jurisdiction of the Pleasantview Fire Protection District.
Bissias said if the weather is extremely dry before Family Fest, the park district would water Gordon Park a few days beforehand.
“I could hook up an irrigation hose with 250 feet of hose to get the ground wet if we have a dry spell,” he said.
Bryzgalski said fireworks displays are subject to the department monitoring wind speed and direction, which would affect fall-out debris landing on spectators.