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Firm finds possible site for new Flossmoor water pumping station 

As efforts to find a water supply route for Flossmoor continue, the village’s consulting firm on water issues has identified the northeast corner of Vollmer Road and Dixie Highway as a potential site for a pumping station.

At the April 6 village board meeting, Trustee Perry Hoag called the Dixie-Vollmer location a “game changer.” 

The consulting firm, Strand Associates, is studying possible routes where Flossmoor may be able to receive Lake Michigan water from Chicago Heights. The Dixie-Vollmer intersection is located at the border of Flossmoor and Chicago Heights.   

Flossmoor’s water supply contract with the city of Harvey expires in 2022 and Strand has been studying potential water transmission routes for the past few months. Under one option, Flossmoor and Chicago Heights would be connected down Vollmer Road. Another is to receive water from Chicago Heights through Homewood.

But a third option, building the Vollmer-Dixie pumping station, may serve as a less expensive option for the village and needs to be further evaluated, Public Works Director John Brunke said in an April 6 memo to the board.

An unoccupied office building is currently located at the Vollmer-Dixie site. 

“Strand is evaluating the total cost of construction, which will include developing a basis for demand, evaluating the water system, engaging potential water suppliers, evaluating potential transmission routes, and developing opinions of probable cost for implementation,” Brunke said.  

At the meeting, the board unanimously approved an ordinance granting $48,000 to Strand Associates to assist in evaluating the option by conducting water system modeling. The modeling will help determine how and if the third option can be done.

Based on the modeling, Strand will develop a report about hourly water supply demands and the minimum sizing of a receiving station’s storage and capacity. Additionally, the modeling is needed for a water quality assessment compliant with Illinois EPA standards.  

“This modeling will look at current and future demands on the system and determine what system improvements may or may not be needed to make this third option feasible,” Brunke said.

In January, the board approved a $49,000 contract with Strand.

While addressing questions at the meeting about why the new $48,000 expenditure is necessary, Mayor Paul Braun pointed out that the system modeling has to be performed regardless of which option the village chooses.  

“Yes, it’s an additional expense, but a good portion of this expense is required [by the IEPA] anyway,” Braun said. “It’s almost like a step two as we move forward.” 

Future tasks include conducting a comprehensive analysis of the new water supply’s water quality.

For years, Flossmoor has received its Lake Michigan water over a route that stretches from Chicago to Harvey to Homewood to the village’s pumping station at Sterling Avenue and Heather Road.

Chicago Heights receives its lake water from Hammond, Indiana via Lansing.

Homewood has also indicated that it plans to buy lake water from Chicago Heights when the current contract with Harvey expires.

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