Editor's note: This story was modified June 9, 2021 with clarified information in the last paragraph.
ENGLEWOOD — Park Forest residents will wait a month for the Englewood Water District to decide whether to add their community as new customers onto its reuse irrigation water line.
The district’s supervisors are expected to take up the issue at their next meeting, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. July 1 at the District offices, 201 Selma Ave.
Park Forest is made up of 425 homes. With the completion of its seventh phase, another 60 homes will be added.
Various homeowner associations within Park Forest object to the developer being allowed to hook up new homes to the pressurized treated effluent water line.
“We are concerned that by attaching or allowing Phase VI to tie into the existing (6-inch) pipe the pressure and product availability will become adversely affected,” Phase III Condo Association president Catherine Chamberlain and Phase IV Homeowners Association stated in a joint letter to the Water District.
Not everyone in Park Forest is against the addition of new customers to the irrigation line.
The Water District does not produce enough effluent to meet its customers’ needs carte blanche and must regulate its usage.
District Administrator Ray Burroughs said a study is underway to determine how the Water District can best optimize its treated effluent, which is a byproduct of the sewage treatment process. It’s clear water, but high in nutrients.
The Water District doesn’t profit from the reuse water and provides the irrigation water for cost at 42 cents a 1,000 gallons through pressurized lines or 30 cents a 1,000 gallons if it is stored in a retention pond.
Burroughs also suggested any future phases in Park Forest will have to draw their irrigation water from a dedicated retention pond.
The Englewood Water District intends to resolve the expansion of the reuse water system to Phase VII within the Park Forest subdivision at a staff level. The District has no plans to bring the issue before the elected supervisor for further discussion. Staff will work with Park Forest residents, but, ultimately, the Water District will make the decision on the point of connection that is most logical for providing service to Phase VII.