Water conservation methods may be deployed by the village of Oswego in the near future.  

Lauren Schuld of Baxter and Woodman Engineering described a short list of ways that could affect Oswego residents and businesses. 

As for the long-term answer for replenishing the underground aquifer: 

Those three communities are Yorkville, Montgomery and Oswego.

For the last 100 years the demand for water has been outstripping the supply in the underground aquifer. However, the problem is also a natural phenomenon in two places.  

First, the Sandwich Fault Zone, which is blocking water from flowing and reaching the area from northwest Illinois near Oregon. Another area is a shale stone layer above the aquifer which also prevents rain replenishing the aquifer, a natural made underground storage tank where drinking water is supplied. There wells can be drilled into the aquifers and water pumped out.

Oswego Public Works Director Jennifer Hughes had this unique way of explaining drilling deeper into the aquifer for wells.

Meanwhile the study and planning continues for Oswego, Yorkville, and Montgomery, all which have joined forces to find a solution which could decide on Lake Michigan Water from the southwest area of Naperville, the Plainfield area, or from Joliet. A fourth option is drawing water out of the Fox River, like Aurora and Elgin does. 

The projected answer is the area's water demand will outpace the available supply by 2050. Joliet is seeking an answer by December for its 2030 startup date while Naperville could be hooked onto in four years. 


Don't Let It Run

Shut off the water when you brush your teeth or shave, and don't let it run while waiting for it to get cold. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge instead.

Fix the Drip

Check all the faucets, fixtures, toilets, and taps in your home for leaks and fix them right away, or install water conserving models. At home, check all water taps, hoses, and hose connections (even those that connect to dishwashers and washing machines) for leaks. Check the garden hose too—it should be turned off at the faucet, not just at the nozzle.

Toilet Management

If your toilet has a leak, you could be wasting about 200 gallons of water every day. That would be like flushing your toilet more than 50 times for no reason! Try this experiment: ask your parents to help you test for leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak!

Wash Smarter

Limit yourself to just a five minute shower, and challenge your family members to do the same! A quick shower uses 20-30 fewer gallons of water than a bath. A shower only uses 10 to 25 gallons, while a bath takes up to 70 gallons! 

Water Wisely

Water the lawn and plants during the coolest parts of the day and only when they truly need it.  If you walk across your lawn and the grass does not spring back up, then it's time to water. Watering when it's hot and sunny is wasteful because most of the water evaporates before the plants have time to drink it. Set sprinklers to keep the water on the landscape and off the pavement.

Go Native

Use native plants in your landscape. They look great, and don't need much water or fertilizer. Also choose grass varieties for your lawn that are adapted for your region's climate, reducing the need for extensive watering or chemical applications.

Use a Rain Barrel: This drains water from your roof  and stores it for later use in watering plants.

Buy Wisely: Look for and choose WaterSense labeled products in your  home, yard, and business. 

Close the Hose

Letting the garden hose run faster or longer than necessary is a careless and wasteful habit. A ½ inch garden hose under normal water pressure pours out more than 600 gallons of water per hour and a ¾ inch hose delivers almost 1,900 gallons in the same length of time.

Who Needs a Hose: An easy way to save water is to use a bucket and sponge when washing cars and bikes. Washing your bike or car with a bucket and sponge instead of a hose saves a lot of water. A hose can waste 6 gallons per minute if you leave it running, but using a bucket and sponge only uses a few gallons! 

In the Kitchen: Use a dishwasher—and when you do, make sure it's fully loaded!Scrape your plate instead of rinsing it before loading it into the dishwasher. Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight rather than using a running tap of hot water.

Other Ways: Sweep driveways, sidewalks, and steps rather than hosing off. Wash the car with water from a bucket, or consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water. If you have a pool, use a cover to reduce evaporation when the pool is not being used.

You can listen to Mark Harrington's radio story by clicking below: