Waukegan Water System Enhances Resiliency


  • Public Utilities


  • Engineering
  • Potable Water
  • Sustainability + Resiliency
  • Water


  • Waukegan, Illinois

The City of Waukegan was in need of an operational evaluation of the Water Plant and the water distribution system as well as a Risk and Resilience Assessment (RRA) for their Water Treatment System. The Water Treatment Plant’s Phase I Capital Improvements included design phase, IEPA permitting, and bidding phase services.

Operational Evaluation − The scope of services included an evaluation of the current operations of the Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and determining if the water treated at the Waukegan WTP meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) primary drinking water standards. In addition, HR Green conducted an inspection of each water treatment plant unit processes as well as the three remote booster stations, noting the current condition, operability, and noting any maintenance, reliability, or service concerns. The HR Green team developed a response to all 14 examples/accusations in the anonymous letter and complete a high-level condition assessment of the existing water treatment plant and water distribution system for the ability to meet the primary drinking water standards.

Risk and Resilience Assessment − The Waukegan water system serves a population of 88,182, consisting of the City of Waukegan and three (3) small adjacent communities. The water system includes two (2) raw water intakes, a raw water pumping station, a water treatment facility (flocculation/sedimentation and filtration) with a capacity of 17.7 million gallons per day (mgd), three (3) booster stations with ground storage tanks, and approximately 340 miles of water transmission pipeline.

HR Green is currently working on completing the Risk and Resilience Assessment for the Waukegan WTP’s facilities. The project includes a site assessment of all WTP facilities for existing security and countermeasures against malevolent acts and natural hazards. The RRA includes assessment of critical system assets for the most likely threat categories, determination of vulnerability likelihood, and quantification of economic consequences and public health impacts resulting from asset damage. The final report will identify the Waukegan WTP’s highest risk areas and will provide recommendations to improve resiliency.

WTP Life Station & Capital Improvements −  HR Green provided design services for the following:

  1. Replacement of existing 24” and 30” raw water venturi flowmeters with electromagnetic flowmeters. The existing flowmeters were not meeting straight pipe requirements, so the proposed flowmeters had to be relocated. Four (4) butterfly valves were proposed to allow for flowmeter isolation for maintenance.
  2. Installation of approximately 3,300 linear feet of chlorine line within an existing 24” intake for zebra mussel control.
  3. Removal and replacement of two (2) 30” intake valves within a structure located in Lake Michigan. The project included the installation of electrical equipment and conduits necessary for valve automation. The City requested that the valves be automated in order to provide Waukegan WTP staff with the ability to safely operate the valves in winter months when access to the valves is dangerous. The project required a careful selection of electrical components, conduits, and valves to withstand conditions of being submerged underwater and with high concentrations of chlorine. The design also included the connection of the electrical components into the Motor Control Center located in the Raw Water Pumping Station. Work required coordination with specialized divers who are familiar with Waukegan’s intakes and intake structure.
  4. Permanent isolation of an abandoned harbor intake to block flow from entering the WTP when Lake Michigan levels were high.
  5. Removal and replacement of existing reservoir vent covers. The design included structural repairs to failing concrete at the vent pedestals and along access platforms. A construction sequence plan and an investigation of critical valves for successful reservoir isolation were also completed.
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