Champaign-Urbana officials work to ensure water is safe

By Karis Morrall

Champaign and Urbana officials are working to ensure residents’ water supplies are safe. Champaign Assistant City Manager Paul Berg says results so far are mainly positive.

“The positive side of things are the company’s meeting their requirements for current demands and the unaccounted for water is within the limits of the franchise agreement. The treatment plan is in compliance with EPA regulations, and they’re meeting the requirements to meet the Class I rating for the Insurance Services offices.”

Champaign and Urbana are performing an audit as a part of a franchise agreement with the Illinois-American Water Company. Illinois-American is a state-mandated private water provider that serves most of Illinois. Berg says the cities are especially interested in Illinois-American’s response to 2005 boil-orders.

“For the most part, the company’s complying with the terms of the franchise agreement, but there were some concerns raised…a little bit of longer-term concerns, especially related to the boil orders we incurred in 2005 and what they’ve done since to prevent those from happening again.”

The University of Illinois is the largest individual customer of the Illinois-American Water Company. Results of the study will not directly affect the prices of water supply. However, data from the study will also prepare for the mid-2007 construction of a water treatment plant in Champaign county.