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Carol Stream seeks property owner support for installing new water main

CAROL STREAM – Carol Stream wants to improve the water service to businesses on Schmale and St. Charles roads, but in order to do that, they first need property owners’ permission.

A feasibility study, which concluded this winter, determined that three sections of the water main were in need of replacement and could fit within the village’s budget, said project manager Kevin VanDeWoestyne of Thomas Engineering Group.

The southern point of the water main replacement project would begin at the intersection of South Schmale and East Geneva roads and continue northward with the project ending about 750 feet north of the intersection of North Schmale and St. Charles roads. The project also would replace the section of water main on St. Charles Road between Schmale Road and President Street.

The total cost of the replacement is $2.15 million, VanDeWoestyne said.

The current water main is located on the DuPage County right-of-way, Carol Stream assistant engineer Bill Cleveland said.

What that means is that Schmale Road belongs to DuPage County, VanDeWoestyne said. The county owns everything from sidewalk to sidewalk, he said, and below the pavement are many utility lines, including telecommunications lines, gas mains and power lines.

“The village has very little real estate to install a new water main [in the DuPage County right-of-way],” VanDeWoestyne said.

Instead of digging up Schmale Road and causing potential traffic nightmares for commuters, business owners and customers, Cleveland said the village has chosen to install the new water main outside of the county right-of-way.

But in order to do this, the village will need to install the water main on privately owned property.

Carol Stream is currently seeking easement agreements with about 30 adjacent property owners, VanDeWoestyne said.

“The village is seeking a small sliver of right-of-way to accommodate the new reliable water main,” he said.

Ideally, the main would be installed under the grassy area between a parking lot and building’s property line, Cleveland said.

But why are the new sections of water main needed?

“The water main itself was installed in the 1970s, and that era of pipe today is failing in municipalities all over DuPage County,” VanDeWoestyne said. “Carol Stream is not unlike anyone else in that matter.”

And when water mains fail, they can take some time to fix.

“Every time we have a water main break, we basically have to shut down the water main and do repairs,” Cleveland said. “Sometimes those repairs can take a few hours.”

He added that oftentimes – because the pipe is in poor condition – one break leads to another, which can result in multiple breaks and multiple repairs in a short period of time.

VanDeWoestyne said the new pipe would be created with materials that are designed to last much longer than the water mains installed in the 1970s.

The project will be funded through the village’s water and sewer fund, Cleveland said.

Once the easement agreements have been acquired, he said the village will begin the design phase and bidding portion of the project.

Construction will likely begin in 2015, and VanDeWoestyne said it will ideally begin and end in the same construction season.

“Construction work will be staged around open business activity,” he said.

VanDeWoestyne added the village would be using less invasive technology to install the pipe, resulting in less disturbance to the surrounding properties.

The primary impetus for the project is a desire to give the businesses there more reliable water service, Cleveland said.

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