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Wonder Lake proposes $5.8M water system overhaul to address arsenic levels, other issues

$18 debt service charge would be tacked onto residents' bills

The village of Wonder Lake has proposed a multimillion-dollar project for its east side water system, according to a notice sent from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
The village of Wonder Lake has proposed a multimillion-dollar project for its east side water system, according to a notice sent from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The village of Wonder Lake has proposed a multimillion-dollar project for its east side water system, according to a notice sent from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The project would include the drilling of two new wells and a new water treatment plant, a 500,000 gallon ground storage tank, a pump station with three pumps, chemical feed equipment, a standby generator and about 6,100 feet of 12-inch water main, according to the project description.

Elevated arsenic levels in the city’s and Harrison School District 36’s water samples are part of the reason for the proposal, according to project documents.

The well water at Harrison Elementary School has arsenic levels above 10 parts per billion, which is the safety limit set by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.

“They do not have capability to provide adequate treatment,” the IEPA said in the statement. “Therefore, the water is not safe to drink.”

Wonder Lake operates two separate water systems. The east side system well produces water with a “high level of iron” and arsenic levels of about 9 parts per billion, according to the IEPA.

Harrison Elementary will be connected to the new system if the project is completed, according to the IEPA. Construction is expected to begin in February and end in April 2020.

Wonder Lake plans to fund the project with a loan through the Public Water Supply Loan Program. The village would be responsible for annual payments of $346,995 for 20 years. The estimated interest rate is 1.84 percent, according to the IEPA.

The village will implement an $18 debt service charge on the cost of service side of a user’s water bill to pay back the debt. The rate increase will affect everyone who uses village water, according to the IEPA.

The average resident pays abut $41.80 a month for the “cost of service,” and that is projected to go up to $59.80 with the debt service charge, according to the IEPA.

A public hearing on the project is scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 15 at Village Hall, 4444 Thompson Road, according to a public notice.

Wonder Lake officials could not be reached for comment Friday.

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