This condition occurs most often when water is very cold and then warms up while in a building's interior piping. Cold water can hold more air than warm water. Therefore, some air comes out of solution as tiny air bubbles when the water warms up. At times, the water may be so densely filled with air that the water appears cloudy. An easy way to check the cause of cloudiness is to fill a clear glass with the water, set it on a table, and watch. If the cloud rises from bottom to top, it is air escaping as the water warms. If the cloud sinks from the top to the bottom, you may have a sediment problem.
Homes located east of the tollway (I-94) receive a separate bill from North Shore Water Reclamation District (NSWRD) for sewage processing. This bill is based on your water usage -- provided by the Village to NSWRD. Property owners also pay property tax to the NSWRD for its administrative costs. Homes west of the tollway are billed Lake County Public Works Sewer fees and do not receive a NSWRD bill or pay property taxes to the NSWRD.
Occasionally open fire hydrants can cause some rust and scale products, which normally adhere to the inside of the water mains, to break away. This sediment disturbance may cause water to appear cloudy or dirty. Water main repair or construction can also cause this temporary inconvenience. If this condition occurs in your system, allow the cold-water tap to run until the water clears. This should occur within five minutes. If the condition persists, call the Gurnee Public Works Department at (847) 599-6800.
Bills are currently issued on a bimonthly basis (every two months) for the prior two month's usage. Meter readings are taken around the 5th of the month prior to billing. For example, bills issued on August 21 would be for usage between June 6th and August 5th. For more information on water billing, please visit the Billing Procedures page.
Drinking water pipes--in the street, leading to your home, or in your home--may be rusting, creating rusty-brown water. Also, your hot water tank may be rusting. If you are having trouble and your neighbors are not, then your own pipes or water heater are probably rusting. Letting the water run for a while will often clear the water (save the rusty water for plants). If the problem persists, call Public Works at (847) 599-6800.
First, check to see if your meter reading is correct. The water meter is usually located in the basement, crawl space, or utility closet for homes without a basement. The reading should be taken from left to right. The reading in thousands of gallons on your bill and the reading on the inside meter and should be close. (Remember to factor in the water usage since the reading date.) If the reading on your bill is higher, please call (847) 599-7500, describe the discrepancy, and someone will be dispatched to take a corrected reading.
Second, check for leaks in your home. An easy way to check for leaks is to read your meter either at night or when you will be away from home for an extended period of time. Read the meter again in the morning or when you return home, before using any water. If the reading has changed, this suggests a leak. Also, most meters have a "low flow indicator". Typically this is a small triangle on the register. If that indicator is turning when you believe no water is being used, there is a leak somewhere. Common areas to check for leaks are toilets, sinks, water softeners, humidifiers, and sprinkler systems. If you are unable or unsure how to find or repair a leak, contact a licensed plumber. Remember a leak means you are paying for water you are not using.
Use cold water. Hot water is more likely to contain rust, copper, and lead from your household plumbing and water heater because these contaminants generally dissolve into hot water from the plumbing faster than into cold water.
Homes located west of the tollway (I-94) pay an additional charge for water used. This charge is now itemized separately on your bill. Although this charge is billed by the Village, it is in turn paid to Lake County Public Works (LCPW). It covers the cost of processing sewage and paying bonds issued for the construction of sewer trunk lines leading to the NSSD Treatment Facility. Current rates are on the Water/Sewer Rates page.
During the summer months a discount is applied to the Lake County Public Works portion of your bill. The discount is based on the assumption that a portion of your summer water usage is not returned as sewage (lawn sprinkling, for example.) The discount applies to bills issued July 1 through December 1. The discount works as follows: Your summer LCPW charge will be based on no more than 110% of your average winter usage. If you used 15,000 gallons of water in the winter months, and have used 25,000 gallons used in summer months, your LCPW charge will be based on usage of 16,500 gallons (15,000 x 110%).
Chlorine is the disinfecting agent used by most public water systems to kill bacteria during the water treatment process. A small amount is left in the water right up to your tap to inhibit microbial growth in the piping. This amount can vary with the time of year and the condition of raw Lake Michigan water.
To remove the chlorine taste or smell, fill a clean pitcher or container with cold tap water and leave it uncovered overnight in the refrigerator. The chlorine content will dissipate.
Gurnee residents are encouraged to contact the Public Works Department--before they contact a plumber--any time they experience a basement back-up. A Public Works employee will conduct an inspection to determine if the back-up is a result of a problem in the Village's main line sewer or in the private building sewer service line. If a blockage occurred in the Village's main line sewer, the Public Works Department will correct the problem, which should also relieve the basement back-up. However, if the Village's main line sewer is properly functioning, the resident will be notified that the blockage is in the private building sewer service line. The Gurnee Village Code indicates that the property owner is responsible for maintaining the private building sewer service line from its juncture to the Village's main line sewer to the building.
By contacting Public Works first, the resident will save the cost of hiring a plumber in the event that the blockage causing the basement back-up in in the Village's main line sewer. Please contact Gurnee Public Works at (847) 599-6800 any time you experience a basement backup.
Water meters use mechanical components. These components wear over the life of the meter causing the meter to slow down and under-register. A new meter will register nearly 100% accurate which could result in a small increase over the old meter.