BELLEVILLE — Illinois American Water’s $8.5 million investment in its Metro East water distribution system is nearing completion, with more than 2.6 miles of water main installation on Front Street in East St. Louis.
Last year, the company completed phase one of the project, which included installing approximately 3,500 feet of 36-inch ductile iron water main and approximately 4,500 feet of 24-inch ductile iron water main.
“The water mains installed in 2016 were large, transmission water mains, critical to delivering treated water from our East St. Louis water treatment to our Metro East customers,” said Jeff Kaiser, director of engineering for Illinois American Water. Upgrading this infrastructure helps to ensure reliable water service for public health and fire protection to not only East St. Louis, but also Belleville, Sauget and other surrounding communities we serve.”
Phase two of the project is nearing completion and includes installing about 2,500 feet of 16-inch ductile iron water main. In addition, approximately 3,700 feet of 24-inch existing water main is being lined with 20-inch fusible PVC water main. Lining the water main, rather than replacing it, decreases costs to customers and prevents unnecessary disruption to surrounding infrastructure.
According to Kaiser, after the water main installation is completed, Illinois American Water will conduct water flow and water quality tests to ensure standards are met. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the project is expected to be completed by the end of July.
The U.S. EPA reports that the nation’s water utilities will need to make more than $335 billion in infrastructure investments over the next 20 years to ensure public health. These investments include replacing thousands of miles of pipe and upgrades to treatment plants, storage tanks and other assets.