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Current Events and Meetings


October, 2015 


Stratton Lock had 13,313 boats lock through to date, 513 in this month so far. In October the lock is open from 8 AM to 8 PM and is closed for the winter November through April. October 31st is the last day to use the lock in 2015. Winter drawdown begins November 1st and is targetted to be complete by December 1st before ice cover is formed.


A final hearing on the petition to modify the discretionary diversion allocation to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago took place. A Hearing on Aqua Illinois' request for a Lake Michigan Water Allocation, for the North Main Water System was held at the Chicago Office. The North Main Water System is located in unincorporated Cook County near the Village of Glenview. The 2015 Lake Michigan Water Rate Survey has been sent out and the Water Year 2015 Lake Michigan Water Audit Form (LMO-2) was sent out on October 8, 2015.  This is an annual form completed by all Lake Michigan Water Allocation Permittees. This year’s LMO-2 has been revised to reflect the November 2014, changes to the Department’s Part 3704 Rules and will require all permittees to complete the American Water Works Association’s Water Loss Audit Software. OWR made a presentation to the Illinois SectionAWWA Annual Regulatory Conference on implementation of Lake Michigan water allocation rules.


The Roanoke Project is being presented as Illinois’ sample project in HUD Resiliency Phase 2 Application and Funders Summit in Washington DC. An updated Benefit/Cost Analysis and associated attachments were submitted for inclusion in to the overall State of Illinois package. The State of Illinois draft application was posted on the DCEO website for the 15-day public comment period on October 9, 2015. The State of Illinois public hearing for their National Disaster Resiliency Competition application was held on October 14, 2015 at DCEO.


Recommendations from the Urban Flood Awareness Act study were presented to the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers. The State Model Local Ordinance is on the IDNR website.


OWR Survey Staff are continuing to collect first floor elevation data for structures in and around the Rockford / Winnebago County area. Field data is being entered into spreadsheets for transfer to ISWS. Streamgaging staff performed download and quality control of following stream gages:  Fox River-Geneva, Lake Michigan – Waukegan, Spring Creek Watershed – Berlin, and Iroquois River – Watseka. The stream maintenance crew will begin removing buoys and signs for the season at Oglesby, Quad Cities, Rock Falls, and the Kankakee and Fox Rivers.


OWR staff participated in the monthly advisory meeting with ISGS and federal agencies. Twelve counties will remain without LiDAR after the 2015 acquisition period ends. It is estimated to take 2.5 to 3 years to complete these counties by maintaining past funding.


OWR staff gave presentations on Permit Application Fees and the removal of Dams 1 and 2 on  to the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE) .


OWR staff will attend the Governor's confeence on the Management ofthe Illinois River System and give a presentation on the results of the Urban Flood Awareness Act.


The Winnetka Dam Removal received board approval to proceed with construction. OWR is providing Resident Engineering services for this Dam Removal Project which will begin October 26th.  According to the project specifications, the Contractor shall complete the work by November 30, 2015.


Permit applications for Dempster Dam will be sent to the permit agencies in the next week.


OWR staff will be participating in levee inspection at Beardstown along with the Rock Island Corps of Engineers, and an inspection of Cricket Creek flood control facility with the DuPage County Forest Preserve and the City of Addison.


Eight permits were granted this month.


Public notices were issued for shore protection projects in Winnetka and Evanston. 



September, 2015


Stratton Lock had 12,800 boats lock through to date. 2473 this month. Site staff are assisting the National Weather Service by providing meteorological data twice a day.


OWR attended meetings with the State Water Survey, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission, State Water Plan Task Force, Rend Lake Conservancy District, City of Ottawa, Illinois Potable Water Supply Operators, Aqua Illinois, the 10th Advisory Meeting on ISGS Geologic Mapping and the Rock Island Corps of Engineers.


Work continues on the National Disaster Resilience Competition application.


An agreement between Douglas County and IDNR concerning water supply from the Kaskaskia River has been fully executed.


The Des Plaines River and East Branch DuPage River rose up to flood stage, causing minor flooding of low lying ground in northern Illinois. Heavy rain filled the Fox River and Chain of Lakes but no flooding of structures occurred.


18 permits granted this month.


The stream maintenance crew performed work at the Havana facility, Crisenberry Dam and Edgar Lakes Pump Station, including road repair and removal of vegetation and weeds.


Streamgaging work performed at Dixon, Oswego and Naperville.


Work on projects in Chicago, Roanoke, Rockford, Jacksonville, Cairo, Dieterich, Alexander County and Winnebago County are ongoing.


The USACE in Kansas City has developed automated processes to incorporate OWR GIS data from levee surveys and LiDAR-derived levee data into the National Levee Database.


August, 2015

OWR Director Injerd participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for Levee 37 on August 31st. Levee 37 is part of the Des Plaines River Phase I study. IDNR was the non-federal cost sponsor for the overall study, and has expended approximately $16 million to date. Director Injerd also attended a meeting of the Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee (Wed, 8/26).  This group has been seeking to develop a consensus plan for moving forward with additional measures to prevent Asian Carp migrating into the Great Lakes.


OWR hosted a Resiliency Academy as part of the HUD NRCS grant competition and attended a public meeting in Roanoke to determine a recommended Resiliency Plan. The State's application plan has dropped to 6 target areas, combining some and reducing others. Another meeting is scheduled for August 25th in Chicago. Resource Management staff attended a NE Illinois Resiliency Partnership meeting on August 25th to discuss continued collaboration on the HUD NDRC competitive grant application.


The Chicago Office sent out an email to all its Lake Michigan Water Allocation permittees notifying them of upcoming free seminars on the American Water Works Association’s Water Loss Audit software.  This software will be needed, starting this year, to fill out the Department’s revised Annual Water Use Form  (LMO-2).


State model stormwater ordinance review expected to be complete by August 31.


Illinois Flood Risk Management team continues acquiring levee data across the State and coordinating with National Levee Database.


Stratton Lock had 10,327 boats lock through this season to date, 367 last week which is below average for this time of year. Suspension of the contractor's work at the lock and dam began June 30, 2015 due to lack of re-appropriation in an enacted bill and is ongoing, resulting in longer lock times. Robert Cawthorne has posted a video of the Lock and Dam on Vimeo.


Maintenance continued at Algonquin Dam, Stratton Dam, and Crissenberry Dam while construction work at various dams has been suspended pending re-appropriations. A Corps of Engineers 404 permit was issued for Danville Dam. As part of the Ellsworth Park Dam Removal Incidental Taking Authorization, the IDNR and INHS coordinated 23 biologists to relocate mussels in the project area of the dam removal on Friday, August 28th.  Approximately 75 live mussels were collected and relocated upstream.  No listed threatened or endangered species were found. 


Flood inspections at community of Fall Creek to investigate causes for recent flooding.


Water table installed for State Fair in Conservation World Discovery Tent.


Twenty Four permits granted.


Busse Woods Dam Modification dedication ceremony was attended by OWR Director.


A presentation to Lake County SMC has been scheduled for late September.


A meeting to discuss the aquifer in the Joliet and Yorkville area has been set for October.


The Annual Streamgage Network Cooperator's meeting was held and a presentation on Lake DePeu was given.


OWR assisted the Hickory Creek Watershed Association and the Spring Creek Restoration Project in Will County.


Work on projects in Ashland, Dieterich, Dwight, Watseka, Hillsboro, Danville, Des Plaines, Springfield, Joliet, Jacksonville, Dixon, Morris, Geneseo, Utica, Rockford and others are ongoing.