Illinois American Water Planning for Future Investment; Offers Educational Opportunity to Lincoln College Students

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LINCOLN, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Illinois American Water conducts multi-year capital planning regularly to ensure quality, reliable water service to customers. In the Lincoln service area this planning has resulted in water source testing and modeling for a new water source and possible water treatment plant. In a unique partnership, the company is offering Lincoln College environmental studies students the opportunity to shadow their team through the process.

Gabe Bowden, operations superintendent for the Lincoln District said, “Continuous investment in our infrastructure is key to ensuring quality water for future generations. Continuous education is also important for shaping the future of the water industry. The planning, testing and design stages aren’t as visual as actual construction, but they are extremely critical, ensuring we are taking the most proactive and prudent approach. We are excited to share this insight with local students and hope to spark an interest in the water industry.”

Illinois American Water is also partnering with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and North Logan County Water Authority on this work and will do so throughout testing, planning and into construction. Bowden will also make a presentation at an upcoming city council meeting to ensure residents are informed.

Bowden explains, “We know some of our current well sites will not take us into the next decade. To ensure we are able to continue reliable service, we need to expand our water source and treatment capacity. This will be a significant investment in Lincoln which won’t be completed until 2020, at the earliest. And while we don’t yet know all of the specifics, we want to be sure our customers are informed.”

This week, engineers will be testing a northeast well site to identify the proper location for future wells. A test well will be drilled to help determine ground water quality and capacity. Illinois American Water will perform flow tests over several days, including Lincoln College students in this process.

Lincoln College Conservation Biology Lead Faculty, Dr. Julia Ossler said, “This hands-on, tangible work is difficult to simulate in a classroom. We are excited for this opportunity and to continue our partnership with Illinois American Water.”

Earlier this year, Illinois American Water presented Lincoln College with a $3,645 environmental grant to construct a handicap accessible boardwalk and interpretive signage, allowing all visitors and researchers access to the stream bank features of Sugar Creek.

According to Bowden, should the well test findings prove favorable, Illinois American Water will proceed with the design and permitting of a new well field. Well owners in the same vicinity will be included in the process to ensure their supply is not impacted. The company is also partnering with the Illinois State Water Survey.

Illinois American Water’s investment in Lincoln is an example of continuous investments and improvements being made, helping to meet the demands of today’s customers and planning for the future. These types of investments are needed across the nation to maintain critical infrastructure.

According to the American Water Works Association, the leading trade association serving the country’s water industry, at least $1 trillion is needed over the next 25 years to maintain and replace the nation’s outdated water and wastewater systems. Illinois American Water has been addressing this challenge by investing $70 -$100 million annually in water and wastewater improvements across the state.

About Illinois American Water – Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE:AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly-traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to over 14 million people in 45 states and Ontario, Canada. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Illinois American Water
Karen Cotton, 309-566-4126

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