A water main is an underground pipe that delivers water to a resident’s service pipe. In residential areas it usually runs under the street. If a hole or crack develops in the pipe, the water will typically find its way to the surface. Because the water main is under pressure, water will continue to flow until the break is repaired.
Water main breaks are more likely to occur when frost penetrates deep into the ground, to a level of 3-5 feet, usually from late January until early April. While cold temperatures may send the frost deeper, the level of snow cover is also important. Snow will act as a "blanket" insulating the ground. In years when there is plenty of snow, the frost does not go as deep.
If water needs to be turned off for a water main break, homeowners will receive little or no notice. The water can flood streets and private property causing damage and safety hazards, and must be controlled as quickly as possible.
Under what circumstances would a Boil Order be issued:
A boil order is most commonly issued when Public Works crews need to shut down a segment of water main due to an emergency water main break or other maintenance activity. The boil order in this case is precautionary and does not mean that the water has tested positive for microbiological contamination. It is simply a precautionary measure until proper testing can be completed. Notification is made by Public Works to those consumers affected.
During the day, Public Works staff will go door-to-door to issue boil order notification. If a customer is not home, a red door tag will be left on the front door. Sometimes, a boil order needs to be issued overnight. The Village does not have the ability to target specific addresses via phone or email contact. In the precautionary scenario above, Public Works will not ring door bells in the late evening or overnight hours, but will simply hang door tags for the residents to see in the morning.
If you have a question on whether or not your residence is under a boil order please call 847-546-8752 or email PWinquiry@rlbeach.org (Boil orders will not be posted on social media websites).
If the water is ever confirmed to be contaminated per the IEPA regulations, additional notification will take place including but not limited to; news and media outlets, reverse-911 calls and other methods. But for a precautionary boil order with no confirmed contamination, only the door tags will be hung overnight.
At that time a boil order will be issued, and water sample(s) will be taken for testing in keeping with EPA standards.
Boil Water Order Guidelines(PDF)