Need to replace your lead service lines? Illinois just announced a state grant program to help
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a grant program yesterday to create a Lead Service Line Inventory that will help communities meet requirements outlined in the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act. Because Illinois has more lead water pipes than any state in the U.S., this is another step toward helping mun...
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Tackling lead service line replacement in Illinois with industry leaders
Lead service lines are common throughout the United States. For centuries, lead was the preferred element for plumbing. The word "plumber" even comes from the Latin word for lead. Lead pipes were popular because they resist pinhole leaks and can be easily bent to conform to the contours of buildings. Because of these advantages, water infrastructur...
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Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act means long-term improvements
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shared information on the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, which comprises the water and wastewater provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Senate approved the Act in August 2021, and the House passed it Nov. 5. We eagerly wait to see the difference addit...
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Did someone say boil order?
If you live in a community and use or drink city water, most likely you've heard of boil orders, advisories, notices or something similar. Even though it might sound self-explanatory, it's important to learn the why and the what to do when it happens. How did the idea begin?When John Snow, an English physician and leader in the development of anest...
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President Biden gets serious about water infrastructure
By now most have heard about the American Jobs Plan announced by President Joe Biden at the end of March where he unveiled an investment in $2 trillion of infrastructure improvements.  Many might correlate infrastructure funding with fixing roads and bridges, but what garnered my attention most is that in addition to creating jobs and improvin...
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Water infrastructure overhaul a bargain in Ludlow
As communities across the country struggle with the ability and funding to update their water infrastructure, there are times when innovative ideas, partnering with the right firm and thinking outside the box is all it takes to put them ahead of the curve. The Village of Ludlow in north-central Champaign County, Illinois, with a population of fewer...
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GIS has big role in watershed planning
Developing a Watershed Plan for a community can have a ripple effect. Improving and protecting our most important natural resource is important, and Watershed Plans do both. At Fehr Graham, we believe everyone should have access to clean and safe water. As a new engineer at Fehr Graham, I’m helping develop a Watershed Plan for the City of Loves Par...
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Benefits of mapping flood risk
In a previous post, I explained how communities are funding stormwater utility programs through user fees, like water and sewer utilities. Regardless of your funding method, reviewing flooding problems and planning improvements in your community can be a complicated exercise. Water has a habit of showing up in unwelcome places during heavy rain, an...
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Electric bill, gas bill, water bill ... stormwater bill?
Communities in Illinois have increasingly turned to a user fee system for funding stormwater programs. But why now? The history of this funding tool and the factors that drove its popularity have taken shape over the last 20 years.  Stormwater as User FeesTypically, the stormwater program is paid for with local taxes. Stormwater is the only ma...
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What's in your water - and wastewater?
Present in every stream and lake is something invisible, necessary and good. That something is nutrients – chemical compounds that are essential for sustaining aquatic life. However, too much of a good thing can be bad. When nutrient removal isn't considered, treated wastewater discharge into streams and lakes can cause elevated nutrient levels in ...
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