Departments > Public Works > Water
The objective of the Water Division is to deliver potable water to its customers. This objective is very clear and is achieved through the cooperative efforts of all Water Division employees. The "Management by Objective" philosophy is a good choice for a water system. People give little thought to the water system supplying their needs except on the rare occasion when they turn on the faucet and no water comes out, or it is turbid or has an odor or odd taste. It is an unspoken tribute to the water personnel who, day after day, deliver the potable water in the quantities and at the pressures desired by the customers with so very few disruptions. The water system supplies a vital service to the public. No modern community such as Oak Lawn could exist without a safe, dependable water system. We, as well as all other water systems, have to meet the minimum standards and requirements of the regulatory agencies. It is the water supplier who has the basic responsibility of providing safe water that will not impair health in any way.
The citizens of the Village of Oak Lawn can be proud of their water system. It is highly recognized throughout the State of Illinois. The improvements made to the water system have complied the Village with United States Public Health service drinking water standards (Federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974). As the supplier of water to Oak Lawn, we have the basic responsibility of providing safe water. Such management takes a considerable degree of skill and the overall impact will be to improve delivery of a municipal service in a vital area of urban life. Listed below are some of the duties and functions the Water Division performs in order to maintain an excellent water system.
- The operation and maintenance of two pumping stations (8 million gallons at the C. J. Reich pumping station and 8 million gallons at the E. J. Harker pumping station). Two elevated tanks, one at 9800 Massasoit and the other at 95th and New England, both with one million gallons capacity. One booster station at 169th and Cicero to better serve the South/Southwest water system. Twelve vertical pumps and four horizontal pumps ranging in horsepower from 75 hp-2,000 gpm to 1,000 hp-12,000 gpm. Automatic controls piping residual indications, chlorinators, one standby generator and other appurtenances.
- Maintenance of 240.476 miles of water mains (varying in size from 6" to 54").
- Maintenance of 2,303 fire hydrants and auxiliary valves.
- Maintenance of 2,262 water main valves ranging in size from 6" to 48". These valves are tested once a year. We also have seventeen motorized valves, eleven (11) 16", five (5) 24", one (1) 30", and four air relief valves in various sizes. There are also ten motorized valves at south suburban sites.
- Maintenance of 16,860 water meters ranging in sizes from 5/8" X 3/4" to 10" turbo meters.
- Inspection of domestic water and sewer house services, lawn sprinklers and fire lines, new water main and sanitary sewer system extensions and courtesy inspections.
- Picking up all new accounts, movers and delinquent shut-off and refuse accounts. Reading business meters once a month; reading residential meters quarterly.
- Repairing broken water mains, house services, and general maintenance of the water system as a prevalent factor.
- Inspection of all fire hydrants (2,303) twice a year, making necessary repairs, flushing and painting when needed.
- Installation of water main extensions (not exceeding 600 ft.), fire hydrants and shut off valves.
- The general maintenance of two pumping stations, two elevated tanks, office and garage facilities, booster station and three incoming meter pits.
With the expansion of the Oak Lawn South/Southwest water system, the need for a better control on water flows and pressures to the outside communities is a necessity as it is a major function of the Oak Lawn Water System.
The Oak Lawn water computer (S.C.A.D.A.) system has reduced our operating cost, especially our travel time to all of our twelve outside users, by enhancing the overall operation of our pumping stations.
The computer system is a necessary instrument with its numerous functions, speed, control and accuracy that are needed for better control of flows, pressures, and the many records and statistical reports needed for the different government agencies.
With the flexibility of the computer system, it has opened a wide range of functions for the operation of the pumping station and office procedures, and the growth of our water system.