Burlington looks to safety of water, roads
By Jeanie Mayer For The Courier-News September 18, 2012 5:52PM
Updated: October 20, 2012 6:17AM
BURLINGTON — The village board is looking to increase safety of its residents by performing water monitoring checks and adding crosswalk designations to roadways.
Members of the public works and water department were on hand at Monday night’s board meeting to report on projects they said will improve safety.
Water Department Supervisor Gary Zickuhr said the village has been conducting lead and copper testing as part of the village’s water monitoring program as set forth by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Zickuhr said testing for the heavy metals began in July and August, and reported that while there is almost no trace of lead in the samples, three of 10 tests were found to have a high reading for copper.
According to IEPA standards, acceptable levels for copper should be below 1,300 parts per million maximum contaminate level. Seven of the 10 samples taken this year were well below the maximum level. The three high readings were 2,090, 2,290 and 2,600 ppm.
“Jerry Long, our contact with the state of Illinois EPA, recommends collecting another 20 samples,” Zickuhr said. “As long as none of the new samples are high, we meet our acceptable level. We are allowed one high reading for every 10 samples we take.”
Zickuhr said the readings could be as simple as a sampling error, or someone replaced a faucet and there just hasn’t been enough coating built up to prevent the copper metal from leaching into the water.
“We have a little over a week to go. We have an opportunity to meet those sampling requirements,” he said.
He said the village does add phosphates to the water to help coat the pipes and prevent any metals from leaching into the water.
Zickuhr said if the village fails to obtain enough qualified samples, it would have to retest again in six months.
“By passing now, we wouldn’t have to test again for another three years,” Zickuhr said.
He said that residents whose water sites tested high will receive notification from the village with specific information about their water.
“By law, if any of the sample sites tested high, they will be provided with the results so they are aware of it,” he said.
The village is planning to install new crosswalk signs and is considering painting crosswalk striping on the pavement in key locations.
Public works department employee Mark Wilkison said the village can install signage reminding drivers to watch for pedestrians, for about $50 per sign. He said the crosswalk striping will cost between $30 and $500 per intersection.
The roadways where the new signs are being considered are along Main Street at various intersections, along South Street and at Plank Road.
“People have been talking to me about doing something. They are just tired of all the speeding,” Wilkison said.
Also, public works will also be applying cold patch asphalt to repair potholes along village roadways before the cold weather begins.
The village board also briefly discussed Kane County’s proposed realignment of Plank Road with a report from Village Engineer John Whitehouse. He said county officials, in their effort to cut costs on the project, have taken the village’s recommendations into consideration.
The current proposal, which was to be reviewed by the county board this week, will still include 12-foot drive lanes and traffic signalization at Plank Road and Main Street, and will add a noise-buffering berm along portions of Plank Road by reusing some of the excavated material that would ordinarily have to be hauled off the property.
The proposed cuts will save the county about $2 million, according to Whitehouse.