The difficulties of expanding Carterville's water supply - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

The difficulties of expanding Carterville's water supply

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CARTERVILLE -- Water service returned to the communities served by Rend Lake slowly over the weekend, but it may have been the slowest in Carterville.

The town ran out of water quickly after the water line broke Wednesday and the city's tanks were some of the last to reach full capacity.

Part of the problem is Carterville only has a days worth of water in reserves.

"So it goes fast," Carterville Mayor Brad Robinson said.

He said the town has grown significantly since the water tower was built in the 40s. 

"We've also talked about (extra) storage, which that's been on our minds since I've been mayor for five years," Robinson said. "But not only are we expanding but we also have to address the 100-year-old infrastructure that's already in the ground."

It's not as if Robinson doesn't want to increase the city's water capacity, it's just that he'll need a lot more money to do so.

"A new elevated tank that would serve our storage and elevated tank needs is $1.5 million," Robinson said. "When we have a total budget of $3 million, it makes it pretty difficult to pull off something like that."

Robinson said he's looking for funding anywhere he can find it to prevent an issue like this from happening again.

He's also talked about connecting to water tanks in Cambria and Crainville, but Rend Lake also serves them.

Robinson said another challenge is Carterville is so far away from the Rend Lake plant, it takes longer for water to flow back into the city.

He said there's no easy solution, but the issue highlights the need for infrastructure investment.

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