MORRIS – Residents living in Ridgecrest subdivision are in need of a new, emergency water connection and they are asking the city of Morris for help.
Ridgecrest’s current water system does not meet an EPA mandate requiring a high water pressure and volume for use during emergencies, including a loss of pressure or a fire.
The least expensive solution for the subdivision involves installing a valve on one of Morris’ existing water mains that runs parallel to Route 6. The valve would connect the city’s main to the subdivision through a new water line.
The new valve would act as an emergency disconnect, automatically opening when Ridgecrest’s water pressure dropped to a dangerous level.
The Ridgecrest subdivision lies just off Route 6, outside of Morris city limits in unincorporated county. The subdivision would incur all costs of the project.
A proposal to enter into an agreement with Illinois American Water to go through with the water connection was tabled for further consideration in a 7-0 vote during Monday’s City Council meeting. Many council members voiced concerns about the project.
“I just think there is a lot of risk and liability associated with this,” Alderman Randy Larson said during the meeting.
Ridgecrest’s current water system is from the late 1950s and operates at a much lower pressure than the city’s system. Some council members were concerned that the old system could not handle an increase in pressure without being damaged.
“If all of the sudden we are blowing their water mains out of the ground or, heaven forbid, causing the water lines within somebody’s house to burst, would the city be liable for those damages,” Mayor Richard Kupczick said after Monday’s meeting.
Ridgecrest is one of three subdivisions outside of Morris’s city limits. It is unclear whether other subdivisions would need connections as well, but it was a concern for some council members.
Concern that Morris and its residents would not benefit from the project was also raised during Monday’s meeting.
“Many of us probably know people who live in this subdivision,” Larson said.
Council members agreed that the project required further consideration before moving forward.
“We will have to weigh the liability and risk before entering into an agreement,” Kupczick said.