The Water Distribution Section is responsible for maintaining and repairing the pipelines that carry water throughout the City’s water distribution system and for the public portion of water service line. The public portion of the water service line is the service line from the watermain to the water meter pit or buffalo-box or shut-off valve, located within the City’s right-of-way. The Section’s responsibilities also include watermain maintenance and repair, leak detection, hydrant testing and inspection, hydrant maintenance, water valve exercising and maintenance, installation, maintenance and replacement of water meters, and maintenance of automated meter reading system. More than 9,400 residential water meters are read three times per year on a quarterly basis. High-volume customers, such as commercial and industrial accounts, are typically billed on a monthly basis.
For additional information regarding the Water Distribution Section, please visit the FAQ below. For inquiries, please contact the Water Distribution Section Foreman, Bill Painter, at 847.926.1151.
My Water Use
As a benefit to the residents of Highland Park, City subscribes to provides My Water Use Program. This program provides a secure, web based portal with water usage, leak notices, tailored recommendations and more. Residents can also set water use alerts based on preferences.
Attached here is an example letter with instructions on how residents can sign up. Program information is scheduled to be presented at the May 13th Committee of the Whole meeting. Residents can sign up using their water account number at mywateruse.cityhpil.com.
To learn more about the My Water Use Program, contact Director of Public Works, Ron Bannon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847.432.0807.
LEAD SERVICE LINES
For additional information on lead service line including identification and replacement, please visit Lead Information webpage (www.cityhpil.com/leadinformation )
Picking up a Hydrant Meter
- Please call the Public Works Department to ensure Hydrant availability and schedule an appointment for meter pick up at 847-926-1151.
- Complete the Hydrant Meter Permit application and submit the required $2,000 deposit to the City of Highland Park Finance Department located at 1707 Johns Ave. Highland Park, IL 60035.
- Take the completed application form and payment receipt to your scheduled appointment time at the Public Works Department, 1150 Half Day Road, First Floor.
- Please contact our Water Foreman to schedule an appointment to return the meter at 847-926-1151.
Contractor Agreement and Responsibilities:
- All water to be used for construction purposes and drawn from a fire hydrant will be metered with a City issued meter and approved backflow
- Contractor/Applicant is responsible to pay all applicable water usage charges which will be billed at the rate specified in the Annual Fee
- Contractor/Applicant is responsible for any and all damage to the meter, AMR attachments and backflow device, and is required to keep all aspects of the unit clean and free of obstructions or harm which may affect the metering
- Lost, stolen or damaged hydrant meters shall result in the loss of deposit and/or additional charges to the
ABOUT WATER MAIN BREAKS
All reports of leaks and breaks are investigated as soon as possible. Main breaks may leave some customers without water service. These breaks are given highest priority for repair. A repair usually takes six to eight hours to complete after the water is turned off to an area. There are times when repairs must be prioritized. Public Works appreciates customers' patience as the work is completed as quickly as possible to restore water service.
WHY WATER MAIN BREAKS OCCUR
Main breaks are most likely to occur during extreme weather conditions. Frigid weather is the most common cause for main breaks and both air and water temperatures are contributing factors to main breaks. Hot and dry weather is the second most frequent time. Shifting ground and increased volume and pressure can stress water mains.
RESPONSE TO WATER MAIN BREAKS
Once a complaint is received regarding a possible water main break Public Works will send someone right away to investigate the location and cause of the suspected break/leak. Upon confirming there is a water break/leak, emergency utility locates are called in. For safety reasons, no digging can commence until all underground utilities have been identified and marked. It takes up to two hours for emergency locates to be completed. During that time the Public Works repair crew is assembled and dispatched to the repair site. At this time they will notify affected businesses and residences of the break/leak and inform them that they may have low to now water pressure during the repair time. Once residents have been notified and utilities located, the water main is excavated and repaired. Final restoration of the work site usually takes between two to four weeks from the time the work has been completed. Site restoration is dependent upon the type of restoration required and scheduling work with the other divisions. Winter excavations are usually completed during April and May. Restorations are dependent upon the availability of materials to finish the repairs (e.g., hot asphalt).
WATER LEAK CONTACT
The City of Highland Park appreciates customer calls about breaks or leaks. When you call, it is important that you provide a distinct location - be sure to give the street address, cross street or intersection to ensure that the correct area is inspected. Please contact us right away when you notice a possible water leaks.
Contact information is as follows, depending on the time of the incident:
Normal Business Hours:
Monday through Friday 7:30am through 4:30pm
Public Works Main Desk
After hours or weekends and holidays:
The Public Works Department will investigate all reported leaks. Some leaks may be on private property, which can be determined in the investigation. Property owners are responsible for repairing leaks on their property.
AUTOMATIC METER READING INSTALLATION PROJECT
Water Meter Replacement and Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) System Installation Project
Infrastructure investment is a core priority for the City. As such, in 2017, the City of Highland Park completed a two-year construction project to replace old water meters and to implement an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system. The City replaced over 6,000 meters and installed approximately 10,000 Meter Interface Units (MIUs) to improve water distribution and water metering service levels. MIUs read the meter remotely. The City continues to install new water meters and associated MIUs to replace old or less efficient water meters.
The City planned and designed the scope of the project with input from the public. In addition, public hearings were conducted to make zoning amendments for the installation of AMR system antennas. The City contracted with Water Resources Incorporated (WRI) in 2014 to install new water meters and related meter reading equipment including MIUs.
For additional information please visit the Frequently Asked Questions or contact the Water Distribution Foreman, Bill Painter, at 847.926.1151.
Public Works operates and maintains approximately 1,793 fire hydrants located throughout the City as part of the overall water distribution system. This maintenance includes routine painting of the fire hydrants. Maintaining the protective coating on fire hydrants helps them last longer, improves operability and visibility, and makes them more aesthetically pleasing.
The specified preparation and painting process involves the contractor first protecting and covering the surrounding area, then performing sandblasting of the hydrant using an environmentally safe blasting aggregate. This process will remove all of the deteriorated layers of paint and rust, and leave a smooth clean surface that is ready for priming. Once priming is complete, the contractor will apply a high quality, high performance urethane paint. This forms a protective coating which will protect against any chipping, fading, or peeling.
Approximately 400 hydrant are scheduled to be painted this year. The project will begin in the summer with an anticipated completion by the end of the fall.
If you have any questions about the hydrant painting program, please call Water Foreman, Bill Painter, at 847.926.1151.
ABOUT HYDRANT FLUSHING
A hydrant flushing program is very important to water quality. Over time, various materials such as corrosion products and organic materials build up in the water distribution systems. This buildup can result in water quality issues such as unusual taste, odors and discoloration. Hydrant flushing was developed and implemented by municipalities to flush the buildup out of the mains. In a traditional hydrant flushing hydrants are opened one at a time in a general area, which increases the velocity of water in the mains. The increased velocity picks up sediment that has settled in the bottom of the main and lightly scours the walls of the pipe to remove residue, which is then carried out to the open hydrant(s). The hydrants run until the water runs clear.
A hydrant testing program ensures that hydrants are in full working order and verifies flow capacity. As the hydrants are flushed, the following are also inspected and tested:
- Static pressure: available water pressure
- Residual pressure: available water pressure that is left over during flow
- Flow pressure: pressure that is flowing
- Flow rate: gallons per minute of flow achieved
- Caps: all hydrant port caps are removed and the threads greased
- Ease of operation: hydrants that are difficult to operate are noted
- Accessibility: landscaping that obstructs access to hydrants is noted
All noted defects or problems are reported to the Water Division for corrective action and test results are recorded and tracked with the City’s GIS system. Areas within the water distribution system that demonstrate low fire flows are investigated and corrected by spot repairs if needed or system improvements incorporated into the Water Distribution Capital Improvement Program. Per the City’s GIS data, there are 1,793 hydrants in the Highland Park system.
If you see a crew flushing a hydrant near your residence avoid running the tap
water, washing machine or dishwasher until the flushing is completed. If you see hydrant flushing crews working in the area, please drive carefully and treat them like any other road construction crew.
If tap water is used during flushing, it could come out full of sediment
that causes discoloration. If you encounter discolored water, shut the water
off and wait several minutes. After waiting, check the clarity by running cold
water for a few minutes to allow new water to work its way into your pipes. If
the water is clear it’s ok to use. If not, wait a few more minutes and check again.
In some cases, there may be slight discoloration for a few hours. This
discoloration only affects the appearance of the water; it does not affect the
taste or water quality. There is no health hazard associated with the discolored water. Avoid washing laundry during scheduled flushing times. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap, then wash a load of dark clothes first. Hot water tanks can hold discolored water for some time after the cold
water runs clear. If pressure or volume seems low, check your faucet screens
for trapped particles.
If you have any questions about the hydrant flushing program, please call Water Foreman, Bill Painter, at 847.926.1151.