– Illinois American Water is investing over $110,000 in the Cairo water system. Local investments include replacing about 15 distribution valves and over 10 fire hydrants.
At the Water Treatment Plant, pumps will be rebuilt and critical drives will be replaced. This work will enhance and maintain water quality and pressure as well as fire protection to customers. According to Mike Brown, Operations Superintendent for the Cairo District, the needed investment projects were identified during required asset inspections and via ongoing, proactive capital planning.
Brown said, “As a private water utility, the Illinois Commerce Commission regulates not only our rates but operations and service. While municipal systems are not required to test and operate every fire hydrant annually, Illinois American Water is required to perform this critical work.
We are proud of the dependable service we provide to the communities and fire departments we serve.” The company is also required to operate all critical valves annually to ensure a healthy distribution system. In addition the distribution system and water treatment plant are monitored 24/7 to ensure high water quality.
According to Brown, the infrastructure being replaced in both the distribution and treatment systems have met the end of their useful life. For example, the valves and fire hydrants are between 30 and 80 years old. The The U.S. EPA reports that the nation’s water utilities will need to make more than $335 billion in infrastructure investments over the next 20 years to ensure public health. These investments include replacing thousands of miles of pipe and upgrades to treatment plants, storage tanks and other assets.
Illinois American Water’s investment in the Cairo District is just another example of continuous investments and improvements being made, helping to meet the demands of today’s customers and planning for the future.