NOKOMIS — The Nokomis City Council met in its regular session on Monday, July 11. Among the issues on deck are ongoing complaints relating to the declining quality of its water.
Bryon McLean, a current water customer and Coalton village trustee, made a formal complaint. The complaint pertains to the brown water he’s been experiencing.
McLean notes that other residents of Coalton, who are still receiving water from Nokomis, are experiencing the same problem.
Mayor Michael Holliday informed McLean that the council was aware of the issues at the water plant. The city is making preparations to resolve this issue, according to Holliday.
Iron content limits, water hydrant flushing discussed
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) allows for no more than 1 mg/liter of iron for municipal water supply. Elevated iron content can result in the water appearing brown or reddish in output. As a result, it will stain or permanently ruin laundry and fixtures.
Holliday maintains that the iron content at the plant is ten times lower than the maximum requirement.
He also stated that this is an issue when water hydrants have been flushed.
What was not pinpointed is the cause of the discoloration. The water hydrants in both Nokomis and Coalton have been flushed, so it is currently unknown the cause of this issue.
EJ Water Cooperative is Coalton’s water servicing company, but they are still purchasing water from Nokomis until the village is connected to the cooperative’s water system in 2024. Holliday claims that the water output to Coalton is free and clear of contaminants.
Another complaint addressed to the council
Also speaking before the council were Andrea and Zeck Barding, both of which are also from Coalton.
The Bardings both expressed that the brown water is leaving a filmy residue on their appliances. Moreover, this is requiring frequent cleanings.
They also wanted to know if they could have their water tested to make sure it is safe to drink.
The council told them that the Montgomery County Health Department can test and send them a report.
The Bardings also expressed concern about the cost of replacing appliances, a hot water heater, and toilets as a result of the city’s declining water quality. They stated that they both pay for the water, but they want clean, drinkable water, not what has been coming out to date.
Other business before the Nokomis city council
The following are items of business taken up in the July 11 meeting:
- Lance Lehnen from Town Pump Bowl spoke concerning a business district grant. Lehnen is replacing the HVAC system for the business. He did state that he has only one bid, and that is because there is only one local business that does the HVAC work.
- The council discussed the June 20 special meeting with EJ Water, which was originally scheduled to discuss water and sewer rates.
- The city received $43,217.41 in revenues. They received a check in the amount of $8,181.64 from the Illinois Department of Revenue for the personal property replacement tax. Other unspecified revenues came to a total of $41,148.66. Bills in the amount of $99,647.55 were also approved.
- A building permit for a fence at 415 S. Spruce was approved.
- There was a brief discussion about derelict properties in town, discussing some of those properties.
- The city is working on a list of surplus property and vehicles. It is currently not complete.
- The council is awaiting necessary contracts from EJ Water for the removal of the former water tower.
- No action was taken on membership in the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. It will return for discussion at the August 9 meeting.
The next council meeting is on Monday, July 25.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.