Rend Lake Water District takes extra measures to keep water flowing

Rend Lake Water District takes extra measures to keep water flowing

REND LAKE, IL (KFVS) - After a long weekend of making repairs to a main line break that left around 160,000 southern Illinoisans without water, Rend Lake Water District engineers say plans are in place to ensure a shortage like this doesn't happen any time soon.

As of now, Rend Lake Water District General Counsel Larry Sanders said the plant is almost back to normal operations.

"If we're not 100 percent done we're 99 percent done because we're at the cleanup," he said, "so we're checking, we're baking, we're drying things up so that we can be back to normal as soon as possible."

Right now, the main break on the inside of the plant that caused the shortage has been repaired, according to District Engineer Sarah Towle, but just in case something goes wrong, they have installed a bypass system that can deliverer clean water to residents.

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Towle said the bypass system redirects water from the 36-inch main line through two smaller 18-inch lines that are running above ground. She said this system is a temporary solution to maintaining water flow should they have to turn off the main line. However, she said the bypass can only pump water out from the plant at a little over half capacity.

Something that slowed repairs, Towle said, was not having extra parts on site. Now she said they have plenty of spares for anything that may happen in the future.

Additionally, Towle said the water treatment plant is in the process of constructing a second 36-inch line that would serve as a fail safe to pump water out to residents at full capacity in the event of another main line break.

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