Lake Forest Bans Sprinkler Systems, Irrigation Watering

City unable to keep up with water demand due to drought even with help from Lake Bluff.


has placed a ban on the use of outside irrigation and lawn sprinkling systems until further notice as the city continues to grapple with being unable to meet high water demand against the current drought.

According to a release issue by the City Thursday, typical water usage for daily use requires approximately 3 to 4 million gallons of water each day Lake Forest. Currently, the City is continuing to pump more than 12 million gallons per day.

The City has its emergency inter-connects open and is receiving water from the and is still not able to meet the water demands.

According to the release, the water filtration plant is at a point where it can no longer meet this demand. If water storage continues to fall throughout Thursday, the City will experience significant pressure reductions in its water main system, which would require a boil order to residents for all potable water (laundry, shower, cooking, drinking, etc.).

Lake Bluff has been able to avoid water restrictions because it purchases its water from the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency (JAWA). According to the village, JAWA supplies 30 million gallons per day to 10 municipalities, and the plant has the capacity to filter and produce 40 million gallons per day.

Water usage in Lake Bluff and other JAWA communities has declined in the  few years as the economy slowed, the housing market collapsed and landscape projects declined.

Lake Forest residents with questions are asked to contact John Gulledge, supervisor of Water and Sewer Utilities in the Public Works Department at (847) 810-3542.

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Roger Billings July 05, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Unlike the armchair know-nothing gadflies on this thread, I have a solution. Give the City emergency powers to raise rates 10% per day until demand comes into balance with supply. Those who want to pay more can. Probably too late for legal reasons to do now, but should be done for the future if possible.
Gary July 05, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Really? Well this armchair know-nothing gadlfy called the number shown above and found out the following: 1. The boil-order would go into effect if the water pressure dropped below 25 psi because the chlorine used to purify the water would out-gas at that point, and there would be a risk of contamination without sufficient chlorine in the water. 2. Lake Forest apparently can only supply enough water for an average summer day. Anything above that is covered by an agreement with Lake Bluff. They have excess capacity and we can draw from their supply when needed. Apparently this does not cost us anything extra, and we agree to pump the equivalent amount back to them when we can. 3. The reason for the total ban wasn't clear but had to do with some story about the pipes not being able to take the water pressure necessary to handle our peak demand. 4. I did not get an answer as to whether or not the every-other-day policy had been enforced. So it seems our water infrastructure is incapable of delivering our peak demand. Your idea about letting prices rise would work... but good luck with that.
jorge imenez July 06, 2012 at 01:50 PM
It is easy enough to rest the blame on the LF government and not on ourselves, who maintain acres of green grass, requiring millions of gallons of water and chemical fertilizers to maintain. Very few people have a rain barrel or let their grass get dry. Better yet, perhaps LF homes should get rid of all the grass and plant more sustainably.
Gary July 06, 2012 at 02:28 PM
The leaders of Lake Forest encourage homeowners to plant extensive landscaping to keep the community looking beautiful. I appreciate that effort, and I am on board with it. But if they are going to make that our town's policy, then they also need to ensure that enough water will be there to maintain it during droughts.
Bill Colaianni July 07, 2012 at 12:08 AM
This is clearly a case of technical and planning incompetence on the part of the water department and of failed leadership on the part of the City government. Planning capacity for "average use" presupposes only average conditions. The climate is unlikely to comply with such naive thinking. This year's problem is not a one-off event nor the first time that Lake Forest has (ineffectively) had to enforce irrigation restrictions. With a lake at our disposal we are hobbled by inadequate treatment and pumping facilities during a hot summer---our fault, not Nature's. Bill Colaianni Lake Forest


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