Park district to get its own lake water

Water, water everywhere, but the park district's well water stinks.

Daily Herald

December 11, 2000 -- Water, water everywhere, but the park district's well water stinks.

The controversy in the debate about bringing Lake water to the city is no longer an albatross on the necks of Prospect Heights voters.

But because of the poor quality of the water their well produces, however, park district officials are looking at stirring up some lake water on their own.

"People that voted in Prospect Heights were our residents," said park district board President Rodney Pace. "As a park board we couldn't say that we were behind water."

The park district's facility at the Gary Morova Recreation Center would have been hooked up to Lake Michigan water along with the rest of the neighborhood.

"The park wouldn't have been paying for the infrastructure costs though," Pace said. "It wouldn't have been fair for us to talk about something we weren't going to pay for."

The recreation center has to pay for the effects of using their well water on a large scale, though.

"We have the typical hard water problems," board Vice President Pat Ludvigsen said. "It's always an issue. We go through a lot of water."

And the park district puts their water through a lot of equipment to clean it up. They have extensive water-treating equipment, such as deionizers, water softeners, and a host of valves and fixtures.

"It's pretty hard on our equipment," Pace said. "It probably cuts out equipment life in half."

Pace added that the water system the park district installed isn't doing the job they expected it to do. Park district officials are looking at getting Lake Michigan water from Eisenhower school or Old Orchard Golf Club.

"We pride ourselves in keeping our facility up," Pace said. "But our whirlpools and toilets have stains. The iron in the water stains them."

The stains on the shower fixtures are a big problem, Ludvigsen said. The rust deposits don't just look bad, they can also freeze valves by rusting them shut.

"If you can't shut down a valve, you have to shut down the whole system," said Pace. "The savings in maintenance should offset the cost of the water."

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