Freeport, Illinois — May 19, 2017 — The Freeport Water & Sewer Commission has begun to activate the new pressure zone, which has been designed to increase water pressure in the western third of the City of Freeport. As part of this activation startup, the Commission constructed a hydraulic model of the water system, replaced 5.6 miles of deteriorated water main and replaced 62 water valves to improve water distribution and minimize main breaks within this pressure zone.
Although much of the City will not be in the new pressure zone, the isolation of this area will change how water travels throughout the majority of the City. In many cases, water will reverse flow from how it has traveled for decades, causing iron buildup within our pipe network to break free. The increases in pressure to older pipes within the new pressure zone may also contribute to additional water main breaks.
At this time, isolation of the new pressure zone will be completed by the end of May, which is created by closing 23 valves around its perimeter. This will then trigger areas throughout the City to begin reversing flow, which will increase the presence of discolored water. Over the course of June and July, the Commission will slowly increase water pressure in the new pressure zone by increasing the water volume within the previously constructed elevated storage tank at Burchard Avenue. As this pressure is increased, it is possible that there will be an escalation of water main breaks and increased discoloration of water. During this startup operation, the Commission will be monitoring complaints and performing hydrant flushing as much as possible, in order to reduce and alleviate any inconveniences to customers. Regardless of discoloration, all water is chlorinated and safe to drink, unless you are specifically notified under a boil order to boil water.
Should you experience reduced pressure in your home, whether during this transition or as a result of a water main break, it is important for customers to clean their sink aerators to remove clogged particles that will reduce individual water pressure. Over the next 60-90 days, we encourage you to contact the Water & Sewer Dispatch Office at 815.233.1686 from 7:00am–3:00pm if you notice significant discoloration in your water or observe a drop in water pressure not caused by clogged aerators. For emergency assistance after hours, please contact 815.233.0711