The City of Batavia Public Works Water & Sewer Division is headquartered at the Public Works Building, 200 N. Raddant Road, Batavia, Illinois. It has eleven employees - Superintendent, two Crew leaders, six water/sewer service maintenance operators, one full-time and one part-time administrative secretaries.
The Water Division is responsible for supplying safe drinking water to the 25,000 citizens. At the present time, the division maintains water meters for 7,800 residential customers and over 800 commercial/industrial accounts. During 2007 the City of Batavia pumped over 1.2 billion gallons of water.
The City of Batavia obtains the drinking water from a combination of shallow and deep water wells. The shallow well water is pumped from the wells to the City’s water treatment plant where the water is filtered for the removal of iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide. The water is chlorinated, fluoridated and treated with a corrosion inhibitor before being blended in the ground storage reservoir. The deep well water is pumped from the wells to a radium removal water treatment plant. The City of Batavia utilizes the HMO adsorption process for the removal of the radium.
The blended water from both treatment processes is stored in a 500,000 gallon reservoir and a 100,000 gallon mixing tank.
Besides making sure there is enough safe drinking water for our customers, the Water Department also assists homeowners in various other ways. If your water bill is unusually high, the City of Batavia will send out a service man to assist you in trying to locate leaks in your home. The City of Batavia can also assist with turning the water off at the street to make plumbing repairs, or if you have a problem with rusty water or a lower pressure problem. In 2007, the Water Department completed over 1200 service requests.
The Water Department is tries to be a good steward of water as a natural resource. The city regularly hires a company to help locate undetected underground water leaks throughout the distribution system. The City repairs water main breaks at any given time once detected. During the last four years, the city has averaged between 30 – 55 main breaks a year.
What causes these main breaks? Nobody is exactly sure why water mains break. Most theories believe that as the ground freezes and thaws, it moves fractions of inches. Since water mains are made out of cast iron, which is a brittle type of iron, the slightest shift in the ground’s surface could cause the water main to break.
Others believe that the changes in water temperature cause the mains to break. When water is pumped out of the ground, it is a constant temperature. As the water is stored in water towers during the winter, the temperature of the water can decrease. The decrease of a few degrees in the water might be enough to cause a slight shrinkage of the cast iron pipe causing it to stress and break, or pull apart.
The Water Department is proud of the fact that it has received several awards over the years: American Water Works Association, for successfully operating a water utility for more than 100 years; American Public Works Association, for our Water Plant design and operation; Illinois Dept. of Public Health, annual fluoride compliance award; Kane County Water Association, Best Tasting Drinking Water, Kane County, 1996.
Our Water/Sewer Department also has the responsibility of maintaining all of the sanitary sewer collection systems in Batavia. Our employees operate and utilize the most technologically advanced equipment available to make sure the sewer system functions properly.
We routinely clean, repair and replace worn pipes. The City also televises the underground pipes to look for problem areas.
The next time you are thirsty for a cold glass of water, need to do a load of laundry, or wash your dishes, be thankful for the dedicated employees of the Water/Sewer Department whose job it is to make sure you have enough safe water to keep you healthy and happy.