The Water Department takes care of 6 different wells and well houses. This entails testing the chemicals such as the re-ox, chlorine, and fluoride levels, filling them when necessary, and maintaining everything beyond that. They check the daily pumpage to see how much water has been used. They also check the water bacterial levels and the samples are sent to PDC Laboratories in Peoria twice a month and the results are reported to IEPA- Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
The Water Department manages the Village owned valves that are out by the street. This does not include the water valves that are inside the building. Those are the responsibility of the homeowner and will not be serviced by any Village employee. When broken valves are reported, the Water Department comes out to repair or replace them. There are approximately 243 valves throughout the Village. Valves are turned at least once every 5 years. It is good to have them exercised, should a main break occur.
Twice a year fire hydrants are flushed. Hydrant flushing usually takes place in April and October, lasting approximately 2 weeks each time. Signs are put up well in advance to let residents know when their area will be flushed. The water in the work area may be rusty while the hydrants are being flushed. This is completely normal but, as a precaution, wait to wash laundry until the pipes are clear. Hydrants are Village property and should only be handled by those that are authorized.
Water Main Breaks
Water main breaks are not unheard of in the Village. They are caused when the ground shifts, putting pressure on the pipes underground. There are approximately 12 per year. A water main break is recognized by water bubbling out of the ground. A main break should be reported as soon as it is noticed, to allow a timely repair. The water in the area will be shut off to keep it from leaking as much as possible and the ground will be dug up to repair the cracked pipe. Main breaks also bring a small amount of rust into the water since the pipes are being cleaned out.
Water meters are an additional portion of this department. Crete water is naturally high in iron, which causes water meters to get clogged easily. Low water pressure is the result. When this happens, the Water Department takes apart the meter and cleans out the interior pieces. If the problem cannot be fixed by simply cleaning it, a ‘blow out’ might be necessary. Residents must schedule all appointments with Village Hall. You may reach them at 708-672-5431. Blow outs, in particular, are only conducted on Wednesdays. Water meters should be easily accessible and water softeners should be moved if blocking the meter. A hose is connected to the meter and run outside to the yard. After checking the Gallons Per Minute (GPM), they will advise you whether or not a blow out is necessary. If the resident chooses to have the pipes blown out they must sign a waiver. The waiver states that the resident is responsible for their side of the pipes, should the line burst. When the air tank is connected, there is a quick force of air put on the pipes that could put a crack in the pipe. This is very uncommon but still a possibility. Cracks are more likely to occur on an old lead line as apposed to copper.