WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Galesburg Water Project Nearing Completion

Galesburg, IL – Crews will begin one of the final phases of Galesburg's new water treatment plant in Oquawka next week.

The multi-year, multi-million dollar project began early last year and the city expects to be finished by the middle of this coming May.

Public Works director Larry Cox says the new plant will connect to the existing transmission line from the well site in Henderson County to the existing treatment plant in Galesburg starting next week on Dec. 28.

He says that will force water pressure to be reduced, or the water to be shut off completely, a few times throughout the week. That will likely stir up sediment and could cause some discoloration.

He says the outages should be brief, and only 25 to 30 customers will be affected.

"The only water that will be off, or have reduced pressure, will be actually on the transmission line," says Cox. "That will just affect a few of our customers that are actually tapped right onto the transmission line."

Once completed, water will be filtered in Oquawka and sent through transmission lines to the Galesburg plant, which will then distribute the finished product to the area's water customers.

Cox says currently, water is taken from an underground reservior, heavily chlorinated, and sent through transmission lines for filtering in Galesburg.

He says sending filtered water to Galesburg will help prolong the life of the lines, which have been operational for about half of their 100 year lifespan.

The entire project is expected to cost around $17.5 million, which the city is funding through bond sales and water rate increases. Cox says the city has raised water rates 15 percent annually for the past three years, and plans to do that once more next year.