Water & Sewer System Improvements

Village Secures Low-Interest IEPA Loan for Wastewater System Improvements

Following the completion of the Wastewater Facilities Master Plan in 2015 and the Sewer Rate Study in 2016, the Village of Roselle developed a five-year Capital Improvements Plan reflecting the priority needs in both the Wastewater and Water Divisions. The Village was successful in securing a $17.3 million low-interest state revolving loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to help fund the wastewater system projects identified in the Wastewater Facilities Master Plan adopted in 2015. The loans are being issued on a project-by-project basis, with the projects spread out over a five-year period. 

The Village commissioned a report from consulting engineering firm RHMG to plan for the infrastructure projects necessary to maintain both the aging water and wastewater systems in Roselle, resulting in the creation of the Wastewater Facilities Master Plan. The report identified over $18.9 million in needed improvements to the wastewater collection system through 2020, the majority of which are eligible to be covered by the IEPA loan. In addition to applying for a low-interest loan from the IEPA for the projects, the Village Board authorized a combination of increased water, sewer, and capital improvement surcharge rates in Roselle to cover the cost of the infrastructure improvements. The incremental rate increases are in effect annually from 2016 through 2020 (see chart below).


Improvements Planned for Village's Aging Water and Sewer Systems

April, 2016 - Shortly after Roselle incorporated in 1922, the first pipes in the Village’s water system were laid. Over the past 94 years, the Village has been responsible for delivering clean, safe tap water to its residents. While the source of the water has changed over the years – from municipal wells to Lake Michigan water starting in 1993 – the Village’s commitment to using best practices to maintain its water system has never wavered.

Some of the original pipes laid back in 1922 are still in service today. However it is the large number of cast iron pipes that were installed during the local building boom between 1950 and the early 1970s that are starting to break more frequently and are coming to the end of their useful lives. The Village commissioned a report from consulting engineering firm Baxter & Woodman to plan for the infrastructure improvements and for calculating the cost required to maintain both the water and the sewer systems in Roselle.

“We are the stewards of the infrastructure here in Roselle,” said Mayor Gayle Smolinski. “We need to keep up our investment in our water and sewer systems while ensuring that our water delivery and wastewater collection systems meet the set standards, and that our residences and businesses are receiving the cleanest water that we can provide. I see this as continuing with our good stewardship.”

The plan for the water system calls for spending $1 million each year between 2016 and 2020 to replace aging water mains. To cover the costs for the work required in the water system, the Village Board voted in March of 2016 to raise the water rate incrementally over the next five years, from $7.45 per 1,000 gallons in 2016 to $8.45 per 1,000 gallons in 2020. The 2016 rate went into effect on April 1 (up from $7.11 in 2015).

In addition to the planned improvements to the water system, the increases to the water rate reflect the assumptions that the DuPage Water Commission will annually increase what it charges the Village of Roselle for the purchase of Lake Michigan Water (which it purchases from the City of Chicago), and that there has been an overall decrease in the volume of water purchased by residents and businesses due to conservation efforts and the usage of high-efficiency fixtures. While the Village is selling less water to its customers (and taking in less revenue), it must continue to make necessary improvements to the water system to insure water quality, reliability, and public safety.

The Baxter & Woodman report also addressed costs related to over $18.9 million in planned improvements identified for the Village’s wastewater system through 2020. The Village adopted a Wastewater Facilities Master Plan in 2015 that provides long-range planning for the collection and treatment systems in Roselle. The plan takes into account the current and future needs of the community while meeting evolving regulatory requirements, and identifies specific improvements for the collection system and both of the Village’s wastewater treatment plants.

Wastewater improvements will be funded by a combination of increased sewer rates (90¢ per 1,000 gallon increase for DuPage County residents; 50¢ per 1,000 gallon increase for Cook County residents, phased over five years), increased capital improvement surcharge (CIS) rates ($4.70 per 1,000 gallon increase compared to 2015 rates, phased over five years), and low-interest loans from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The combination of the increased water, sewer, and CIS rates will mean that the average monthly water and sewer bill in Roselle (assuming 5,400 gallon usage) will increase by approximately $37 by 2020, compared to 2015 bills. The Village Board is committed to reviewing water and sewer projections annually during the budget hearing process to make rate adjustments as necessary.

Rate Per 1,000 Gallons
(effective 4/1)
(effective 1/1)
(effective 1/1)
(effective 1/1)
 Water Rate
$7.45 $7.80 $8.05 $8.25 $8.25
 Sewer Rate DuPage*
$5.60 $5.85 $6.00 $6.10 $6.10
 Sewer Rate Cook*
$3.10 $3.20 $3.25 $3.25
 Capital Improvement Surcharge (CIS)
$3.85 $4.80 $5.75 $5.75
 Total Rate DuPage*
 $20.10 $20.10
 Total Rate Cook*
$13.40 $14.75

* Roselle’s Cook County properties are in the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and pay into that system through a combination of user rates and property taxes. Roselle’s DuPage County properties pay for sewer services through user rates only.

** The Village Board froze water, sewer, and capital improvement surcharge rates for 2020 when they passed the Village's 2020 Budget. Upon review, it was determined that the rate hikes were unnecessary for 2020 due to favorable competitive bid results for various water and wastewater projects over the last four years, debt service payments being less than expected, and the timing for when projects were completed.