Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » “The Water Drain”
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
“The Water Drain”

Friday, Oct 27, 2017

* From the Tribune’s latest investigative series

Lake Michigan water rates have been surging throughout the Chicago region in recent years, squeezing low-income residents and leaving them with little, if any, recourse, a Tribune analysis shows.

In this tangled network that delivers water to the vast majority of the region’s residents, the Tribune found an upside-down world, one where people in the poorest communities pay more for a basic life necessity than those in the wealthiest.

And the financial pain falls disproportionately on majority-African-American communities, where residents’ median water bill is 20 percent higher for the same amount of water than residents pay in predominantly white communities, the Tribune’s examination revealed.

Consider Ford Heights, a cash-strapped, predominantly African-American suburb south of Chicago. People there pay nearly six times more for the same amount of water than residents of Highland Park, a wealthy, predominantly white town on the North Shore — and four times more than Chicago residents.

In the end, little is stopping local leaders from raising rates even more: Illinois regulators have no oversight authority over towns’ water rates. […]

Community leaders offer a variety of explanations for the high rates. Some acknowledge that residents are paying for significant amounts of water lost through cracked pipes and leaky hydrants. Others say they are imposing higher rates to pay exorbitant replacement costs of that infrastructure.

* Part 2

Drop by drop, more than 25 billion gallons of water drawn from Lake Michigan was lost in the Chicago area last year, an analysis by the Chicago Tribune has found.

A sprawling network of crumbling underground pipes allows water to surreptitiously seep into the soil before customers even turn on the faucet. […]

Last year alone, northeast Illinois would have saved nearly $9.1 million if towns using Lake Michigan water had been held to the state’s water loss standard of 12 percent. […]

Towns with majority-black populations lost an average of 18 percent of their water, compared to the region’s overall rate of 10 percent. These towns pay some of the highest rates for water in the area. […]

The result has been a significant drop in overall water use by Illinois over the past 20 years — by nearly 30 percent, state officials say. And despite its losses, Illinois still fares better than many other states.

But improvements to unseen pipes and water mains have not materialized. In towns like Maywood, for example, water loss has remained stubbornly high.

WBEZ interviewed the reporters. Click here to listen.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

12 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 1:59 pm:

    Should water be more regulated by the state? (i.e. Look at Michigan and their water utilities) Yes….

    However the race issue is quite pathetic. Most of these suburbs like Maywood and Harvey have been mismanaged now for an eternity so it’s not surprising that their paying the price of corruption and crony management.


  2. - Perrid - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 2:17 pm:

    “In the past two years, two towns — Harvey and Maywood — have been singled out for mismanagement or fraud.” and “One community, Harvey, does not list rates on its water bills and did not respond to requests from the Tribune.”

    I don’t know, I really don’t know, how any of the local politicians in Harvey stay out of jail, let alone get re-elected.


  3. - Amalia - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    Fix the pipes. And everyone should conserve. don’t water your lawn. (there should be a rule for government buildings.) don’t run the water until after you brush your teeth. we can all do our part to save the water for important usage.


  4. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    Another example of the terrible management of our resources by elected officials who have no motivation to do the right thing. All too often there is no competition at elections and no penalty for governance malfeasance. But voters need to be involved also and this doesn’t happen enough.


  5. - Telly - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    The people getting whacked with the high bills voted in those corrupt and incompetent governments.

    Part of the problem is a result of there being too many municipalities in the Chicago area. Sometimes the desire for local control really messes up the “economy of scale” that comes with larger, unified government.


  6. - We'll See - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 2:56 pm:

    There lots of finger pointing to be had in all of this; but keep in prospective that within these poor communities the tax base is so far eroded that the water fees is one of the few revenue streams the village have.

    In a vicious cycle, they charge high water rates to generate revenue and to pay for the loss of water due to failing water mains, and there is never enough revenue left over to make the necessary repairs.


  7. - Downstate - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    We’ll See,
    You are correct. The prevailing wage rates make it incredibly expensive to hire an outside contractor, while pension obligations are draining many small town resources, forcing them to reduce the workforce that might enact these repairs.


  8. - Put the fun in unfunded - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-harvey-water-receiver-met-20170720-story.html Harvey is the hub for distributing water to a number of poor south suburbs. Harvey itself has diverted funds and not paid Chicago. And Rahm has about doubled water rates in the last few years.


  9. - City Zen - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    2 villages that share borders:

    Alsip = $34.95
    Robbins = $63.65


  10. - We'll See - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    “2 villages that share borders”

    And their tax bases are miles and miles apart.


  11. - Barrington - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 4:44 pm:

    Not sure using Highland Park and Ford Heights is a good comparison. Highland Park is on the lake and has a water plant and sells water to other suburbs. Ford Heights is inland and buys water from Chicago Heights. Chicago Heights buys its water from Hammond Indiana.


  12. - Barrington - Friday, Oct 27, 17 @ 4:46 pm:

    Maywood does have problems that include the water department. Residents rightly or wrongly are suspicious of the city water and often choose to drink bottled water than tap water.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Taking a sick day
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* McCann to run for governor as Conservative Part.....
* Tigers ruckman Tim Sullivan to make his SANFL l.....
* Speak Out - Chicago Tribune..
* Rauner signs small cell bill opposed by Elmhurs.....


* Motorist dies after driving car off Navy Pier into lake
* Woman gets 3 years after guilty plea in videotaped beating
* Southern Illinois man gets 26 years for fatal home invasion
* Divers rescue driver after car goes off Navy Pier into lake
* ATF mobile ballistics testing van dispatched to Houston
* Central Illinois man dies in officer-involved shooting
* 1 of 2 Highland Park house fire victims identified
* Deerfield faces 2nd lawsuit after semi-automatic weapons ban
* Illinois uses electronic-sniffing dog for child porn cases
* Board accuses Illinois judge of lying to investigators

* Bill: Put therapists, not armed security, in Illinois schools
* Report: Improvements to veterans home could cost $265M
* Rauner's point person on Legionnaires' outbreak makes $20K monthly
* Presidential library publishes digital archive of papers from Lincoln's first 33 years
* McCann to run for governor as Conservative Party candidate
* Duckworth, daughter make Senate history
* Report: Raoul hired ex-state worker convicted in fraud case
* Central Illinois couple suing DCFS over handgun ban at home day cares
* Meet the Springfield Fire Department's first female division chief
* Meet the Springfield's Fire Department's first ever female division chief

* Chicago's largest privately held companies
* Yes, we need the United Way
* Corrections
* The 0.3%: Million-dollar earners in Illinois
* Appeals Court grilling signals turbulence ahead for Sinclair-Tribune deal


* Boy, 16, shot while sitting on Back of the Yards porch
* Dear Abby: Family thinks I deserve a better-looking boyfriend
* Cubs rout Rockies 16-5 behind another big game from Javy Baez
* No place in the NFL for cheerleaders in 2018
* Horoscope for April 21, 2018
* Man tried to abduct 8-year-old girl on Northwest Side: police
* White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar taken to hospital after collapsing in dugout
* Racism is not a Starbucks problem. It is America’s
* Woman, 61, rescued from under car after being struck in Glen Ellyn parking lot
* Former Trump adviser calls Barbara Bush a ‘vindictive drunk’


* James Comey, in Chicago with 'A Higher Loyalty,' wins over crowd with plea for American values
* White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar passes out in dugout, taken to hospital during Friday’s game
* As Michael Kopech pitches one state over, James Shields, White Sox falter in 10-0 loss to Astros
* Man holding his daughter is fatally stabbed in neck in random attack at California steakhouse
* Javier Baez's 4 hits, 4 RBIs lead Cubs to 16-5 win over Rockies
* Northwest Side bank held up in takeover bank robbery
* Cubs' top pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay dazzles in 2018 debut
* Police: Man grabbed girl on street on the Northwest Side
* Florida school gunman carried shotgun in guitar case, says 'sorry' after 1 wounded, police say
* Packers' Aaron Rodgers buys a piece of the NBA's Bucks


» Official: Pop Tax Repeal Could Mean Late Tax Bills, Budget Headaches
» Casino Sale Raises Questions About A Windfall - Or A Conflict - For Pritzker
» Eliminating Golden Parachutes in Illinois; Children’s Author M.J. Mouton; Illinois Budget
» Obamacare Protection Measure Fails in Illinois House
» State Week: McCann Makes Three; Blagojevich Makes Appeal; Preckwinkle Makes History
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: April 20, 2018
» From Columbine To Parkland: Art And Activism
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Is there a Newspaper War in Chicago?
» The Week in Review: Dorothy Brown Enters Mayoral Race
» #647 Jason Isbell & Opinions on Cardi B


* Statehouse Insider: Governor's race could set records beyond spending
* Guest View: A nation at risk
* Ed Rogers: Anyone who wants to connect with people could learn a lot from Barbara Bush
* Thumbs Up: To women who break down barriers
* Bill: Put therapists, not armed security, in Illinois schools
* Report: Improvements to veterans home could cost $265M
* Rauner's point person on Legionnaires' outbreak makes $20K monthly
* Guest View: New bill would set a dangerous precedent for cybersecurity in Illinois
* Eugene Robinson: Trump's foreign policy is more like international lurching
* Presidential library publishes digital archive of papers from Lincoln's first 33 years


* Annual Pet Fest set for Two Rivers Church
* Diane Burroughs
* Minnie Eileen Jones
* HS Soccer: St. Thomas More vs. Mahomet-Seymour
* Ebertfest 2018: Day 3
* Unity Boys Track Invite
* Boil order issued in Johnston City
* Quad-Cities Big Table: Students talk about gun violence
* Genesis Health Systems eliminates 48 positions
* Quad-Cities Big Table: How can we get college students involved in community?


* Track and field: Huntley makes it a McHenry County sweep
* Baseball: Malmberg pitches Grant past Lakes
* Girls track and field: Holze, WW South run through field at Neuqua Valley
* White Sox reliever Farquhar collapses; Astros rout Sox 10-0
* Baseball: Grayslake Central adds to victory flurry

* Rep. Randy Hultgren recognizes Loyola men'...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren visits McHenry's Pi...
* Are Illinois Congressmen safe in wake of D...
* A quick look at a few congressional races ...
* Underwood to get help from national group ...
* It's official: If you prepaid your propert...
* Underwood hopes winning primary formula ca...
* House approves Curbelo, Hultgren bill prot...
* Pritzker, other Illinois Democrats in DC: ...
* A record number of women are running for o...

* Durbin, Duckworth demand accounting of All......
* Area US senators' votes on Trump nominatio......
* What's the Deal With Chuck Schumer's Pot B......
* Durbin, Duckworth press Allegiant for flig......
* Infants now permitted on Senate floor, in ......

* Few mothers could do what Tammy Duckworth ......
* Four stories that mattered this week, expl......
* 4 stories that mattered this week, explained...
* Sen. Tammy Duckworth bringing baby to Sena......
* Tammy Duckworth's Senate vote with a baby ......

* Degrees of contamination?
* Dried scallops the key ingredient in chef C.J. Jacobson's 'Mediterranean XO sauce' [VIDEO]
* Weed Week: Get in the mood for 4/20 with these photos by Chicagoans dedicated to legal weed
* Asynchronous Discussions, Group Projects Still Dominate in Online Courses
* Red state teacher revolt rolls on to AZ.
* Why EdTech hasn’t solved education’s problems
* Roving robot lets UCI student attend classes virtually while on bed rest
* What is the future of online learning in higher education?
* Apple Introduces Apple Teacher For Teachers To be Inspired, Build Skills And More
* Too toxic.


* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield
* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties

  
* Samsung Galaxy S9 (dual SIM) going for $660 in US
* Apple’s recycling robot disassembles 200 iPhones an hour
* The future of SMS - RCS messaging - to be called "Chat", Android is all in
* North Korea’s freeze on nuclear testing isn’t a victory — it’s negotiation
* Deleting your Facebook account won’t keep it from tracking you
* OnePlus 6 Avengers Edition rumors, LG V40 rumors & more – Pocketnow Daily
* AT&T launches its “5G” to more markets

* Farquhar faints in dugout, taken to hospital
* Rodon drops in, still hopeful for late-May return
* White Sox Minor League Update: April 20, 2018
* Farquhar faints in dugout, taken to hospital
* Shields, White Sox stumble vs. Astros in opener
* Astros romp in 10-0 laugher
* Farquhar faints in dugout, taken to hospital


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller