By Christopher Johnson


All of the lead pipes that influence the quality of the water sent to the connected citizens of Pecatonica have been located and are subject to immediate removal and replacement.

When the Village of Pecatonica achieved its Charter in 1869, water transfer systems weren’t the first concern. It eventually became something essential for the effective development of the former pioneer collective of citizens.

They looked around as to the types of materials they had to work with and began putting pipes underground. 100 years later, they have to come out.

It’s been a generation or two since the old lead pipes under some of the simplistically strewn and shakily supported city streets were installed. It was time to remove them according to Smull.

“I couldn’t tell you exactly when the lead pipes were put in, but it is a long time ago. Many of the roads we are fixing have also been there a long time.”

Everything is being switched out, everything that isn’t up to code and is a shape that does not allow for the efficient transfer of water and sewer services.

Smull said the money the village is using came in through access to a low interest loan. It was a process that has taken a couple of years to complete.

“We have 5.5 million dollars to be spent on all water pipe upgrades and lead pipe replacements. The IEPA Loan we received gave us enough to be able to complete the work that needs to be done.”

The project involves, pipes, roads, storm sewer and point repairs. Things have to made better, the Village President stated.

“We did 260,000 point repairs on sewers already and we have to build up on top to repair the roads to the point that it looks like they were new.”

Smull explained that there is additional funding that came in the form of a partial forgiveness bond, which has been earmarked for water systems improvement and roadway modifications.

Much of the base under the roads that are being changed out is nowhere near where it needs to be to accommodate today’s traffic Smull explained.

“Most roads had no base; no rock underneath. When they built it they just placed dirt underneath it. They were in bad shape.”

The modification involves twelve to 16 inches of stone to be placed under four inches of blacktop. Giving the roads the extra “backbone” they require.

Millions of dollars have been spent already and millions more are expected to be spent in the village of Pecatonica as it looks to move into the summer season with an enhanced infrastructure improvement schedule.

Nearly half a million dollars has also been set aside for work on the “in need” water tower. It has to get some attention now, Smull expressed.

“Our partial forgiveness grant helped get us hundreds of thousands of dollars for the water tower which has to be deactivated, touched up and painted again. We will be looking at bids and community interest in getting it painted.”

The Village Board will meet next on Thursday, July 1 at 6:30 p.m. with the Committee of the Whole expected to gather first, followed by the regular meeting of the Pecatonica Village Board.

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