Tuscola Water & Sewer Departments
214 N. Main Street
The City of Tuscola owns and operates its own water distribution system, which consists of water mains, fire hydrants, and the elevated storage tank. The treated water is purchased from Illinois-American Water Company in Champaign, Illinois, and piped to Tuscola through a 14″ water pipeline. The City’s current allocation of water is 900,000 gallons per day.
City Hall handles all billing issues for water service, and is also the contact point for questions or emergencies.
Water usage is metered at each property in gallon increments. The approximately 2,400 automatically read meters in our system allow us to accurately bill for water consumption as well as assist in detecting customer leaks in an effort to conserve water and save customer's money. Bills are sent monthly in accordance with our billing procedures. You may also download, and file with the city, a Direct Pay Authorization, which allows automatic payment of your utility bill from your bank account with no additional user fee. Using our Direct Pay method is a convenient way to pay your utility bill and remove the worry of late fees!
For information about the quality of our water, download our Water Quality Consumer Confidence Report-2019
The City of Tuscola bills for sanitary sewer service based on water consumption. In other words, the sewer bill is a percentage of the water bill. For billing information, contact City Hall at 217-253-2112.
The sanitary sewer system is made up of collection and treatment facilities. The collection system is comprised of the private connections, sewer mains, and lift stations which transport wastewater to the treatment plants. The City owns and maintains the mains and the lift stations, but the private connections to the mains, or “laterals,” are the responsibility of the home or property owner. When a home or property owner believes a blockage may exist in their sewer line, we encourage them to contact City Hall first. We will ensure that the main is clear and functioning properly before the home or property owner hires a plumber. We will not reimburse expenses, even if the blockage is in the City–owned sewer main, unless the above procedure is followed.
The City of Tuscola operates two treatment facilities – the North Plant, or sprayfield, and the South Plant. Each facility receives roughly half of the wastewater flow from the City, although the entire amount can be directed to either plant. Together, the two plants provide the capacity to treat 1.25 million gallons per day. Additionally, the Excess Flow Basin, located near the South Plant, can store 15 million gallons in the event of heavy rains or a temporary shutdown of one of the plants.
The North Sewer Sprayfield facility sits on 160 acres of prime farmland. The plant provides processed water through an irrigation system to most of those acres. The farm produces a typical crop of corn, which is sold to offset costs of the operation. The site also includes grass crops of Reed Canary Grass and Miscanthus grass. Both of those crops excel in their ability to absorb water, making the plant perform well, even in periods of high flow. The Reed Canary Grass is annually cut, baled and sold to livestock operators, while the Miscanthus is sold for use in the bioenergy or other commercial industries.
Setting up Water & Sewer Utility Service
Persons constructing new homes and businesses within the City must fill out a Water and Sewer Tap Application in order to begin the process of being connected to the City's systems. After completing the application, please submit it to the City of Tuscola Water Department by fax (217-253-5026), e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or mail (214 N Main St, Tuscola, IL 61953). The City will verify the fees involved based on the type of connection and fees approved in the fee schedule listed on the application. All fees must be paid prior to work being completed.
New occupants of existing homes and businesses must fill out a in order to have water service turned on at the location in the occupant's name. Completed applications must be submitted to Tuscola City Hall Water Department at 214 N Main St by the applicant, possessing a valid identification card. Water and Sewer Service Application
While there is no deposit required for customers who own the property at which they have service, a water deposit is required for all non-owner residents connected to the City's water service. The City may waive a water deposit for a resident who has maintained good payment history with the City for a period of more than 24 months. The deposit amount is generally $100 for residential and small commercial customers. For larger commercial water users, the deposit will be calculated based on typical usage at that location. Customers owing the City for prior water service amounts will be required to pay the past amounts in addition to a higher deposit for reconnecting service.
All deposits and fees must be paid prior to connection of services. Payments may be made by clicking the "Make Payment" quick link to the right of this page.
Information about Lead in Public Water Supplies
Lead is a common metal found in the environment. The main sources of lead exposure are lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust or soil, and some plumbing materials. EPA estimates that 10-20 percent of a person’s potential exposure to lead may come from drinking water. Infants who consume mostly formula mixed with lead-containing water can receive 40 to 60 percent of their exposure to lead from drinking water.
The City of Tuscola has no record of lead piping within the public water supply lines of the city. However, our personnel do inspect lines as they are uncovered for repairs and will inventory any such located lead containing lines. Additionally, the city routinely tests water at 20 locations around the city to determine the presence of lead in the drinking water. To date, none of the samples have contained detectible levels of lead. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. The City of Tuscola cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. Although lead containing plumbing materials are no longer used in home construction, many older homes were built at a time when lead plumbing products were frequently used. If you are unsure if your home plumbing contains lead components, you may want to take precautions to flush out sediments after waterline work causes pressure to stir up line sediments in your household plumbing or if your water has been sitting for periods of time without being used. To minimize the potential for lead exposure, flush your tap for 3 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. Cleaning the aerator screen on each faucet is also recommended to remove any potential sediments. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.
Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters your body from drinking water or other sources. It can cause damage to the brain and kidneys, and can interfere with the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of your body. The greatest risk of lead exposure is to infants, young children and pregnant women. Scientists have linked the effects of lead on the brain with lower IQ in children. Adults with kidney problems and high blood pressure can be affected by low levels of lead more than healthy adults. Lead is stored in the bones and it can be released later in life. During pregnancy, the child receives lead from the mother’s bones, which may affect brain development.
Information about Boil Orders issued by the Public Water Supply
A boil order is issued by the operator in charge of a public water supply any time there is a possibility of bacterial contamination in the public water supply. This most frequently happens if a line breaks or during a line repair, but could happen if routine water sampling test results show bacteria. A boil order does not necessarily mean that there is contamination, only that there could be contamination. A boil order in the case of a main break or repair is a precautionary measure that is implemented until a water sample can be tested at a laboratory to determine if there is bacteria present. Bringing water above the boiling point of water (212° Fahrenheit), and boiling for at least one minute at a rolling boil, kills any bacteria that may be present so that they do not pose a health risk to the consumer of the water.
Each boil order situation is different making it impossible to predict how long the boil order will remain in effect. It will not be lifted until testing shows that the water meets public health standards. Each water sample taken to the laboratory must be incubated for several hours to perform the test. This process typically takes a minimum of 24 hours. There are no shortcuts to the testing time. The water sampling laboratory will notify the City of Tuscola when the boil order can be lifted, and the City will, in turn, notify you.
Once a water main has been repaired, and the City has lifted the boil order, there may be sediment in the water that were stirred up by pressure fluctuations during the break or repair of the main. To minimize the potential for lead or other sediment exposure, flush your tap for 3 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. Cleaning the aerator screen on each faucet is also recommended to remove any potential sediments.
Water Cross Connection Control Program
The City of Tuscola participates in an Illinois EPA required cross connection control program. The goal of the program is to ensure a safe water supply for our residents. To that end, any type of connection to the water supply that could potentially contaminate the water supply is required to have a backflow prevention device installed and maintained, with annual inspection records provided to the City. The City must actively seek information about any type of connection to the water supply, and therefore mails surveys to water customers on a 2 year rotating basis. When a connection is discovered, the City is required to ensure that measures are taken to prevent backflow contamination. Listed below are some types of connections with potential hazards.
- Private Wells & Cisterns- Private wells and cisterns are prohibited from being used as a potable water supply and wells used for plant watering are prohibited from being connected in any way to any plumbing system connected to the public water supply. Customers with uncapped wells on their property must certify their disconnected status.
- Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs, & Ponds- Customers with swimming pools, hot tubs, or landscape ponds on their property must certify that they are using a safe filling method to fill the pool or pond with water.
- Lawn Sprinkler Systems and Fire Suppression Systems- Customers with these types of connections to the public water supply must have a backflow prevention device installed to prevent contaminants from entering the public water supply. Backflow prevention devices must be inspected annually by a certified inspector and the inspection must be filed with the City water department.
- Other types of connections requiring a backflow prevention device include medical or dental office devices, concrete businesses or other direct fill plants, funeral home businesses with direct connect devices, and other locations with direct fill connections to the water supply.