The stifling heat and lack of rain has forced communities like New Lenox, Mokena and Tinley Park institute water restrictions, ranging from staggered schedules to outright watering bans. In Oak Lawn, residents experienced a disruption in water pressure as an emergency backup generator system was installed.
At the same time, however, water service in Frankfort has remained the same despite residents using 7.5 million gallons a day, an amount that had the village limiting usage at around this time last year.
"Last year, we started hitting our limit on water," said Mayor Jim Holland at Monday's Frankfort Village Board meeting. "This year, we're using more water, but not having any problems."
So what makes Frankfort so lucky?
Chalk it up to the community's well system, village officials say.
Most municipalities in the South Suburbs receive their water supplies from Lake Michigan through an agreement with the City of Chicago. This means these communities are bound by the conditions of the agreement and are the mercy of having to share the water supply and the decisions that come with it.
Using a well system means Frankfort keeps a certain amount of independence when it comes to water usage, said Assistant Village Administrator Rob Piscia. Darrin Yount, the village's utilities director, and his staff monitor residents' water usage and make sure Frankfort's water towers are being replenished at an acceptable level, Piscia said.
Holland also attributed Frankfort's favorable water situation to recent maintenance and upkeep on the well system. The fixes the village has made has created efficiencies and allow residents to use high levels of water without a negative effect on the community.
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