More than 6 miles of new water mains will be installed in Belleville and Swansea to replace water systems that are 40 to 60 years old.
Illinois American Water Co. has announced that it is investing $3.1 million in the projects, some of which are getting underway this month, and should each be completed by the end of the year. The new water mains replace ones that occasionally leak, are corroded and have caused damage or are no longer large enough.
Most of the work is located along 2.4 miles of water main that will be replaced within the Villa Hills subdivision in Belleville. A 2-inch water main along 4,300 feet of South 51st Street, South 52nd Street and South 53rd Street will be replaced by a new 6-inch water main that will also be located along West Washington Street from North Belt West to South 51st Street.
More than 1,700 feet of a 2-inch water main will be replaced by a new 8-inch water main along North 31st Street in Belleville, from Vernier Avenue and Sheridan Avenue, and will continue to Sheridan Avenue from North 31st Street to North 30th Street and along Cambridge Drive.
In Swansea, approximately 2.1 miles of new water main will be installed along Caseyville Avenue from Morgan Street to North Belt West, on 15th Street from Morgan Street to North Belt West and 16th Street from Morgan Street to North Belt West.
Illinois American Water Co. spokeswoman Karen Cotton said the project will not affect customers’ current rates, which are set by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Cotton also said the water company will contact any customers who will be impacted by the project, but some will be under a boil order when the water company tests the new water mains.
“It depends on the project, where it is in the area, but for the most part, there will be minimal impact to customers,” she said. “There may be some impact with restoration. If so, customers’ yards will be restored to what it was before we started the work. The biggest impact may be once when the work is completed and the new water main is tested.”
Upgrades are needed to replace aged water infrastructure located throughout the nation. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than $335 billion in investments in the nation’s water infrastructure will be needed during the next 20 years along thousands of miles of pipe. The EPA is also calling for upgrades to treatment plants and storage tanks.
Contact reporter Will Buss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2526.