A recent study of Springfield’s gravel pits says that the city could pump 13 to 18 million gallons a day, but as of right now City Water Light and Power does not have a system set up to get the water if needed.
The study conducted last year and the report presented this week to Council Members only looked at Springfield’s gravel pits and did not evaluate the possible effects on other cities’ nearby water reservoirs.
Even if Springfield would need to get water from the gravel pits, Water Director Tom Skelly says Springfield doesn’t have the infrastructure in place.
Skelly says it would be a physically and logistically difficult project. It’s a ten mile distance from the gravel pits to the lake and he says that if needed they could get portable pumps and a series of pipelines set up, but as of right now there are no plans to get water from the gravel pits.
Meanwhile, concerns that Springfield’s lake levels will drastically drop because of the Illinois State Fair being in town are overblown wives tales, according to the city’s water official.
During the drought, some may have been concerned about how low the lake could get because of the water demand during the State Fair. Skelly says that there is an increased demand from the fair grounds during the annual State Fair, but it’s not as drastic as some people may fear.
Skelly says that the average production at the water plant is 22 million gallons a day and 160,000 gallons is a small amount and is not a big deal. Several weeks ago, the water plant produced a record 40 million gallons in one day.