Mokena, New Lenox ban watering; Tinley Park likely to do same
By Steve Metsch email@example.com July 7, 2012 7:10PM
Updated: September 6, 2012 1:15AM
Repairs to a backup generator serving the water line from Oak Lawn have led to watering bans in Mokena and New Lenox and a likely ban in Tinley Park.
The website for Mokena said Saturday that all outdoor water is banned in that village and New Lenox until further notice because “reserves have fallen to critical levels.”
In Tinley Park, watering was still permitted Saturday night, but a two-day ban will probably be in place starting Sunday morning, Mayor Ed Zabrocki said.
“There’s a pretty good likelihood that (Sunday) morning we’ll go to a ban on outdoor watering for two days,” Zabrocki said Saturday.
A decision will be made by 11 a.m. Sunday with an announcement posted on the village’s website, he said.
Repairs to the generator in Oak Lawn disrupted water service long enough to cause a decrease in Tinley Park’s water supply, which is down to about half capacity, he said. He and Trustee Tom Staunton Jr. have been monitoring the water level every two hours.
Repairs in Oak Lawn began at 1 p.m. Friday, and the line was down about nine hours. By 2 a.m. Saturday, things were back to normal, Zabrocki said. However, with Tinley Park using about 18 million gallons of water every day, the village’s supply was “just under 50 percent (Saturday) morning,” he said. While that’s not enough to cause panic, it is cause for concern, he said.
“As of right now Oak Lawn is pumping us more water than we’re using, so our water (level) is coming back up. If we get up to 70 percent or so, we’re comfortable with that. If we don’t reach that point, we’ll have a two-day ban on all outdoor watering,” Zabrocki said.
Residents watering during the ban will not be fined, but they will be asked to turn off the water, he said.
“A two-day ban for watering when you’ve had three straight days of 100 degrees and above or more, and 10 days of 90 and above, that’s not too bad,” Zabrocki said.
Tinley Park sells lake water to Mokena and New Lenox. It also sells to American Water, which sells water to Orland Hills. There is no emergency watering ban in that village, according to the Orland Hills website.
“That would be their decision,” Zabrocki said.
He is glad Oak Lawn took a “preemptive strike” by fixing the backup generator before a larger problem happened.