Water main upgrades done, better pressure the result

Kenilworth is in the clean-up phase of the water main replacement and upgrade project it began this spring, and houses along the project route are now connected to the new mains, Village Manager Patrick Brennan said Aug. 4.

The $1 million replacement project, which began in April, hit a few bumps along the way, including unexpected underground utility placement that meant the new mains had to go deeper underground than planned, he said. That helped delay the project by a month, and will probably increase the cost slightly, Brennan said.

However, the project will also increase Kenilworth’s water pressure, something village officials have been waiting impatiently for because of its safety implications.

The project, which is part of the village’s $23.7 million, multi-year “Kenilworth 2023” infrastructure sewer and water upgrade, is addressing both the system’s age – some replaced pipes were up to 120 years old – and the lack of water pressure, both to fire hydrants and to homes.

“Kenilworth 2023” was originally planned to be completed in three phases over the next 10 years. This year’s water main work was paid for out of a $9.75 million bond issue that voters approved in April of 2013.

To remedy that, Glen Ellyn-based Northwest General contractors began work at the end of March, and eventually replaced old 6-inch water mains with 12-inch mains along Brier Street, and on Roger and Melrose Avenues west of Green Bay Road.

However, crews discovered that plans to put the new mains in at a depth of 6.5 feet underground were complicated by the placement of some utility lines. Redesigning the placement to put the mains 8 feet below ground slowed progress. Wet weather later this spring and early in the summer didn’t help, Brennan said.

“The Winnetka fire department will be coming out in the next couple of weeks to do water pressure tests on our fire hydrants, and I am really looking forward to that,” Brennan said.

MAIN STREETS

WHAT: replace 6” water mains with 12” mains

REASON: better water pressure

WHERE: Brier Street; Roger, Melrose Avenues

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