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Welcome to IARWC

Welcome to the Illinois Alluvial Regional Water Company (IARWC) website! 

If your community is looking for an alternate source of water, contact Heneghan and Associates at 618 498 6418 for further information.

To see Summary of project click here

Our pledge to our membership is to provide good quality water at the most reasonable price we can.

The concept is simple; any community or not-for-profit water system may join and become a member. A member is an entity in which they are looking for practical, economical, and shared resources to secure a viable water source for their community.  This concept is that each community or not for profit water system that is a member of IARWC chooses a representative to participate on the Board of Directors of the IARWC. This Board has the authority to make the decisions how to operate. 

The organization is organized as a private not-for-profit corporation.  Now you are probably wondering why a corporation?  The simplest answer is that the group is comprised of Municipalities, Publics Water Districts, not for profit water companies, and Co-ops. To encompass all the different types of organizations that would allow all to be active memberships was the group to organize as a not-for -profit corporation.   Therefore, IARWC was formed. 

Each community that is a member of IARWC chooses a representative from their community to participate on the Board of Directors of the IARWC. This Board has the authority to make the decisions to operate. 

So now you are wondering how or why form a new entity? IARWC came about when a community was looking into their water source and what it was going to take to keep it going. Discussions were had with the engineers as to how to go about addressing the water issue they were facing.  As more discussions were had it was becoming apparent that this community had an issue that wasn't going to be a quick repair in both process or cost. 

This community utilizes a reservoir, like most municipalities. The down side is that over time the reservoir becomes silted in and for this community was the issue at hand along with aging water plant had long lived its life as designed. Some will say why not simply dig out the reservoir and start over?

The simplest answer is IEPA will not allow the digging out of any reservoir.  IEPA considers these reservoirs as settling ponds whereby toxic metals have been collected. To dig them out will expose the environment to these heavy metals.  Therefore, IEPA will not allow the cleaning of the reservoir.  Then there is the replacement of the water plant itself.  Cost estimates were estimated at over $20M.

As time went along more discussions were held about possibly looking into combining resources with other communities to take advantage of more people and resources to spread the overall cost.  This concept is nothing new.  About 20 years ago a community in southern Illinois had done this very idea.

Engineers began more discussions with several communities looking for a common link along the way.  That common link would be a water source that would be not only in quantity but also in quality.  It was becoming very apparent the only viable option was to look into river basin west of Jerseyville. 

In the early discussions three very different entities were contacted. These were City of Carlinville, Jersey County Rural Water, and Fosterburg Water District.   In those discussions that were had, all were very interested in the concept.  City of Carlinville applied for and awarded a grant that paid for the engineers to complete a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER). This report looked at several options for the City of Carlinville to consider in addressing their water issue at hand.  

As time went on more meetings were held and an attorney was contacted to get the concept up and running.  As the word got out more and more communities became interested in the idea and started to attend the meetings.

By joining resources collectively, IARWC grows stronger and with it every member grows stronger and the outcome is the ability to provide water at a more reasonable price.  This is known as "Economy of Scale".  Economy of scale is when something is produced cheaper when more is made. Water is a great example of this model.    

With the rising cost to not only operate, but to maintain a water supply, it has become very challenging for any community to provide high-quality water in a cost-effective manner.  Today the water infrastructure in the USA is falling behind every day. Like most communities, the water system is usually the last to keep current on upkeep.  For the infrastructure for water is unseen and most don't think twice about turning the tap on and getting a glass of water.  Only when there's no water, discoloration, or the increase in the water bill do we really pay attention to the issue.

The group formed a Not-for-Profit Corporation with a title of Illinois Alluvial Regional Water Company.  Several meetings continued and as time went on, the engineers put together a project so demanding that the federal government has stepped in and awarded the IARWC group the largest amount to date $66M ($42M loan and $24M Grant monies) to get the project moving.

Now not to say this wasn't without opposition.  Law suit were filed and went through the court system.  The suite went all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. In which the Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the Appellate court.  Today IARWC has prevailed and due to the set back of the law suit has lost viable time.  Then throw in the Covid pandemic as well as the supply chain issues in which has compounded the groups effort in getting up to date construction costs from contractors. 

Everyone wants to know how much is the cost is to purchase from IARWC! There's no good answer to this. See the engineers look at past projects of similar size as a comparison and then take into account variables to come to an estimated cost to build. Well as mentioned before, Covid pandemic, supply chain issues and now inflation that hasn't bee seen since 50 some years ago, has placed contractors at a disadvantage.  These contractors and their suppliers won't give any projected pricing, for the simple fact that they don't know, no one knows what going to happen and therefore, no one will give any quotes.

Today the engineers are getting more confident in the estimated costs to build. Is it going to be cheaper than today costs? Most likely not! However, one has to look into the future.  Ask yourself this question, what is the cost going to be 5, 10, 15 years from now to build the same proposed system. Short answer more than today!   

There are those that ridicule every little aspect  one does no matter how good or bad the project is or what he group is trying to accomplish.  To not do anything is not the right answer. To those who think they know more than the professionals that do this type of work day in and day out and then to be questioned on the alternatives that have been put rest several years ago to only to keep discussing these alternatives is counterproductive.  

There are those who want to know who is getting rich on this project.  IARWC is a NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION therefore the group as whole owns the water plant! That being IARWC owns the plant and transmission main that will be from the water wells to the finish transmission main that terminates just South of Carlinville. The debt will be held by IARWC and the debts are being secured by purchase agreements with the entities.

These purchase agreements or contracts are for a 40 year term, as allowed by state and federal statue.  Now there are those that say this should not be 40 years, but shorter. This is all fine and dandy if you are good with a higher purchase price.  The process is just like buying a house.  Do you buy short term or long term? Most have 30 years mortgages with some 15 year.  All depends on how much you can afford! Right! Well this project is no different, other than 40 year note. Why 40 years, will for one state statute only allows municipalities and water districts 40 year max.  Then the amount IARWC is looking at is far greater amount than most projects.  An estimated loan amount of $42M spread of over 40 years is much cheaper vs. 30, 20, or 15 year note.  Now this is not to say that IARWC couldn't pay it off early! This is all ways a possibility and that will most likely be a discussion in the following years!

What has been accomplished so far in a short amount if time by IARWC pertains to 5 wells and the water rights to supply the communities for its membership? Both the water quantity and quality of water available has been found to be appropriate in nature.  IARWC has also procured the grounds for a water plant that is located completely out of the flood plain area and the acreage purchased is more adequate for the proposed size and allows for future growth as well.  

The next biggest hurdle IARWC has to complete will be the water transmission main easements. These easements are typically not allowed by the funding agency to be purchased. Most communities are expected to secure the right of way for the water line without compensating the property owner. However, being IARWC cannot provide service along the route from the proposed water line; Rural Development is allowing IARWC to compensate those property owners that will be impacted by the water line.

IARWC has been formulating a compensation formula that like the water line project that is ongoing in South Dakota. No matter whom or the amount of ground required the treatment (payment offer) shall be fair to all property owners alike. Unless of course one would donate to the cause for the betterment of the communities for all!

This is the last piece of the puzzle and once IARWC can get this accomplished can the project go to the next level of completion. This being loan closing with the federal government and going out for bid to build.  It is being estimated those two to three years to get to bidding, with one to two years to build.  So, an estimate turn on date would be 2026.