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Water Production Division

Responsibilities
The City of Highland Park's water treatment facility provides potable water for all water customers. The Water Treatment Plant, located at the east end of Park Avenue on Lake Michigan, is currently rated at 30 million gallons per day (MGD). 

Contracted Municipalities 
The City of Highland Park contractually provides water to the municipalities of Deerfield, Lincolnshire and Bannockburn, while also providing such service to the Glenbrook Sanitary District and Fort Sheridan. The City has the capability to provide water on an emergency basis to Northbrook, Highwood, Lake Forest and Glencoe. Conversely, the City is able to receive water from Lake Forest and Northbrook in the event of an emergency.

Imagine a Day without Water, October 10, 2018
We take clean potable water for granted! Turn on the tap, and potable drinking water flows out. We hardly think twice about the infrastructure that brings water to homes, we should. The reality is, nationwide, water infrastructure system is aging and failing. Over the past few years, the City has upgraded its water plant to an Ultra-Filtration Membrane Plant, installed new water meters along with an automatic meter reading system, and replaced and upsized miles of water mains. While most Americans cannot imagine a day without water, there are many communities that have lived, and are living, without water because they don’t have access to safe and reliable water systems.

A day without water is a public health and safety crisis. It means no water to shower or flush the toilet, and no water to drink or cook with, no water to do laundry or dishes. Hospitals would close without water. Firefighters couldn't put out fires and farmers couldn't water their crops.  Our water infrastructure supports every facet of our daily lives, but our water infrastructure is facing incredible challenges. Demographic and climate pressures, such as increased natural disasters, drought, flooding, and wildfire, threaten our infrastructure and increase the possibility of a day without water.

On October 10, 2018 the City of Highland Park, along with hundreds of organizations around the country will participate in the fourth annual Imagine a Day without Water, a nationwide day of education and advocacy about the value of water.  For more information please visit http://thevalueofwater.org/ and http://imagineadaywithoutwater.org/.


Fix a Leak Week, March 18-25, 2019
Because minor water leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program promotes Fix a Leak Week during the third week of March each year.  Fix a Leak Week is an annual reminder to Americans to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.

For more information please visit our Fixing Water Leaks website.


World Water Day, March 22, 2019
World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of focusing attention on the importance of water.  Celebrated since 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly, World Water Day has grown to become one of the key dates in the UN calendar.  This year’s theme, ‘Nature for Water’, explores nature-based solutions (NBS) to the water challenges we face in the 21st century. The campaign is called ‘The answer is in nature’ and raises awareness of NBS. The central message is that NBS, such as planting trees to replenish forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, and restoring wetlands, is a sustainable and cost-effective way to help rebalance the water cycle, mitigate the effects of climate change and improve human health and livelihoods.

For more information please visit the United Nations Water website.


Drinking Water Week, May 5-11, 2019
A safe, reliable water supply is critical to the success of any economy.  It creates jobs, attracts industry and investment, and provides for the health and welfare of citizens in ways ranging from disease prevention to fire suppression.  We often take water supply for granted until it is threatened, either by drought, water main breaks, or some other event. For more than 30 years, the American Water Works Association and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week – a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. 

Please join the City of Highland Park in supporting Drinking Water Week. 

For more information about water visit  www.drinktap.org


Peak Season, Late July through August Facts 
• Summer’s rising temperatures often coincide with rising water use. “Peak” water use describes the time of year when residential water use is at its highest due to an increase in outdoor water use, usually from late July through August. In most areas, the amount of water homeowners use to keep their lawns green or fill their backyard pools will spike during this season—to the tune of about four times as much water or more than they usually use the rest of the year! 

• The average American home uses about 260 gallons of water per day; during peak season, homes can use about 1,000 gallons of water in a day. Some homes use as much as 3,000 gallons on a peak day, or the equivalent of leaving garden hose running for nearly 8 hours! 

• When temperatures rise and rain is scarce, peak water use in single-family homes typically occurs due to lawn and garden watering or when topping off a swimming pool. 

• Experts estimate that 50 percent of the water we use outdoors goes to waste from evaporation or runoff due to overwatering. 

• With the exception of extreme heat waves, peak use typically occurs on weekends as many people use their free time to tend to lawns and landscapes, do laundry, and wash cars. 

Visit the City of Highland Park's Water Conservation Website to learn some simple tips on how to save water outdoors during peak season. 

For more information on the City of Highland Park's Sprinkling Restrictions, which is effective from May 15 until September 15 of each calendar year, please go to Sprinkling Restrictions

For more information on water sciences and knowledge, please visit the American Water Works Association webpage.  

National Water Quality Month
August is National Water Quality Month and water quality begins with our source waters, rivers, lakes, and ground water. It is important that we each do our part to protect our water supplies and keep our waterways clean for all living things so that we can continue to enjoy them for consumption and recreation.  Protection of drinking water is everyone’s responsibility.  You can help protect Highland Park’s drinking water source in several ways:

  • Please do not litter. Always throw your trash away in a trash can or recycle bin. When debris, such as plastic bags, bottles, containers, cigarette butts, is thrown on the ground, it gets washed into storm drains and directly into our waterways.  Litter is one of the most unsightly forms of pollution in our local waterways and can easily be prevented. Most litter can be recycled, which not only protects the environment, it saves our natural resources.
  • Follow directions on pesticide and fertilizer labels.  They contain hazardous chemicals that can reach your drinking water source. If you apply pesticides to plants properly, they can have a minimal impact to the environment.  Take care to not over fertilizer and never apply fertilizers before a heavy rainfall.  Be sure to sweep off driveways, sidewalks, and roads so the chemicals will not get into storm drains.
  • Clean up after your pets. Do not let pet waste wash into storm drains.  Fortunately the solution to this problem is easy. Scooping up and throwing away pet waste is a simple thing all responsible pet owners can do to help keep our water and environment clean.
  • Dispose of used oil motor properly.  Improper disposal of used oil, which includes oil leaking from cars, contributes significantly to stormwater pollution. The City recommends either having your oil changed at a facility where they properly dispose of it or taking it to a service station, car repair or quick lube facility where they will have it recycled/re-refined. Never, ever dump oil in the trash or down a storm drain where it will pollute water and soil. 
  • Use a car wash. Something to consider during National Water Quality month is the affect that washing our cars can have on our waterways. Car wash water and rinse water contain a mixture of detergents, oils, heavy metals and other pollutants that we wash off of our vehicles. This soapy, polluted water is untreated and can enter our waterways though storm drains.  A better option is to take your car to a commercial car wash facility that discharges its wash water to the sewer system, where it’s treated or recycled. When washing your car at home, park it on the lawn (or other vegetated area) to keep the soapy water out of the storm drain.   Mild, soapy water won’t hurt your lawn; it will actually water it! 
  • Dispose of old prescription drugs properly.  Help keep prescription drugs out of the water supply by participating in the Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal Program of Highland Park.   This program helps residents to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs and over the counter medications in an environmentally safe way.  The public can drop off prescription drugs in a mail box shaped receptacle in the foyer of the Highland Park Police Department located at 1677 Old Deerfield Road, 24 hours a day. 

For more information see the US EPA’s website on Trash-Free Waters and Storm Water Runoff.