Illinois American Water invested about $122 million in 2018 to install or rehabilitate
more than 42 miles of water and sewer main.
Card for Illinois’ infrastructure rates the state’s water and wastewater systems each with a C- grade.
According to The Report Card, infrastructure is graded based on eight criteria: capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience and innovation.
The C- grades for water and wastewater systems falls between C and D ratings which are defined respectively as mediocre, requiring attention and poor, at risk. According to report findings, a trend of underinvestment in recent years threatens Illinois’ competitive advantage and the health, safety and welfare of citizens.
This isn’t the case for Illinois American Water’s service areas according to Beth Matthews, Director of Engineering for Illinois American Water, though The Report Card highlights the urgency for infrastructure upgrades and supports the Company’s continued focus on investment across the state.
She said, “The findings provide more evidence for the need to move quickly on updating and maintaining water and wastewater systems to ensure reliable service for health, safety and economic development. Illinois American Water proactively invests annually to address these critical investment needs.”
In fact, Illinois American Water invested about $122 million in 2018 to install or rehabilitate more than 42 miles of water and sewer main. Water treatment processes, equipment, security and technology were also upgraded to comply with drinking water standards and enhance system reliability and resilience. In addition, hundreds of fire hydrants and water meters were installed or replaced across the state. The Company plans to invest over $100 million in 2019 to ensure customers receive quality, reliable service.
According to The Report Card, the required 20-year drinking water systems investment need in Illinois has grown from $17 billion in 2007 to $21.5 billion in 2017. Wastewater needs are estimated at $6.5 billion to meet the water quality and water-related public health goals of the Clean Water Act.
While it is a challenge, investing in water and wastewater systems supports not only safe drinking water and public health, but also creates jobs. “Water and wastewater infrastructure investments prove their value every day,” said Matthews.
She added, “One of the reasons we work to make our customers aware of the ASCE Report Card is to highlight the critical nature of these issues, and let them know that they already play an important role in system renewal and future reliability by simply paying their water bill.”
The rates Illinois American Water charges are based on a true-cost pricing model endorsed by the U.S. EPA, the Metropolitan Planning Council, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the National Association of Water Companies. The ASCE also supports raising the awareness of the true costs of water and solutions to increase investments in wastewater and drinking water infrastructure.
True-cost pricing ensures water and wastewater rates reflect the total cost of pumping and treating water and delivering quality service to our customer’s homes and businesses. Rates also pay for the investment Illinois American Water makes to ensure reliability and regulatory compliance – investment highlighted in the Illinois Section ASCE Report Card.
The Report Card was created to help Illinois understand the state of its infrastructure. Civil engineering experts in their respective fields from the Illinois Section of ASCE, with assistance from the Central Illinois Section, Quad Cities Section and the St. Louis Section, prepared The Report Card for Illinois’ Infrastructure. The Report Card is created to educate and advise on the condition of the state’s infrastructure using sound engineering evaluation criteria and to provide recommendations on how to raise the grade. To see the report in full visit https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/state-item/illinois/
About Illinois American Water - Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to over 14 million people in 46 states and Ontario, Canada. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.