WIUM Tristates Public Radio

IEPA Continues Scrutiny of Colchester

Feb 14, 2012

The latest demand from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will require Colchester to cap the wells that used to provide the city's drinking water. Since 2005 the city has been buying its water from Macomb.

Mayor Danny Bice said the five wells are in Troublesome Bottom.

He said, “Those wells are just sitting there, you know. We're not ever going to fire them back up. So the EPA came in two weeks ago and did an investigation and we've got to cap them permanent to be in compliance.”

The city had three bids for the work. The low bidder was Peerless Service Company of Dubuque, Iowa. Bice said the city has worked with the company before.

Each of the wells will be sealed to a depth of three feet. They will be capped with concrete several inches thick.

The city will have to remove the pump house at each well. It will also have to prepare each well site by removing the concrete pads and excavating down three feet around the casing. Bice did not have an estimate of the cost of the work to the city.

The agency is also requiring the city to make expensive repairs to its sanitary sewer system. Those repairs could cost as much at $2.5 million. The IEPA is also requiring approximately $700,000 in repairs to the city's water treatment system.