Investing In Our Communities
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) estimates that approximately $277 billion of capital spending will be needed between 2003 and 2022 to replace aging water infrastructure and comply with stricter water quality standards, and the USEPA estimates that approximately $388 billion will be needed between 2000 and 2019 to replace aging wastewater infrastructure. We intend to invest capital prudently to enable us to continue to provide essential services to our regulated water and wastewater utility customers. Investing in our infrastructure is critical to our mission of serving our customers quality and reliable water and wastewater service.
We have a strong and ongoing commitment to investing in infrastructure and keeping it updated and we are committed to delivering excellent service that our customers depend upon at an exceptional value. Tap water costs about a penny a gallon - a remarkable value compared to any other utilities today. With few exceptions, water service remains the lowest utility bill that a household will pay.
In fact, in Illinois alone, we have invested over $238 million since 2000 to improve service to our customers. Every year, we deliver system improvements to the communities we serve – from extending water mains to replacing meters and hydrants to upgrading plant equipment.
A few of our key, recent projects include:
New Water Plant in Champaign. Construction is underway for a new 15 million-gallon-a-day (mgd) water treatment plant to serve fast-growing Champaign County, The state-of-the-art plant is designed to meet growing demand in the area. The plant will be expandable to 20 mgd as needed.
New Water Plant in Lincoln. A new water treatment plant is part of an investment in Lincoln’s water infrastructure system. The new plant will provide additional filtration and the capacity to serve the city’s growing needs.
New Water Storage Tank and Booster Station in Streator. A new 500,000 gallon water storage tank and booster pump will help improve fire flows to the western portion of the city and support local commercial and industrial development plans.
New Radio-Read Meters. Across the Midwest, American Water has installed approximately 50,000 new meters as part of the company’s initiative to upgrade meters. This new technology uses a hand-held wand to read meters from several feet away. This reduces hazards to our readers and decreases estimated readings. Readers just point the unit toward the direction of the meter and the reading is transmitted. The Chicago Metro district is utilizing an AMR system that allows meters to be read from their trucks through a laptop.
Small Main Replacement Program. Illinois American Water’s small water main replacement program focuses on replacing mains where leaks occur, corrosion has caused damage or the size of the pipe isn’t sufficient. Many of the pipes in our system were installed in the early 1900s and are small in comparison to modern standards in water mains. The small size and age of the pipes, coupled with corrosion and sediment accumulation over the years makes the replacements necessary. In the last three years, the Alton District alone has replaced more than 16,312 feet of water main. Replacing the aging and smaller pipes helps enhance fire flow protection, increases water pressure and provides important upgrades to ensure system reliability for future generations.
To keep customers up to date on project progress, we post regular updates at www.amwater.com.
We are committed to delivering excellent service that our customers depend upon at an exceptional value. One gallon of tap water still costs less than a penny and remains a great value when compared to other utility services. With few exceptions, water service remains the lowest utility bill that consumers pay each month.