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Water Division

The Water Division is comprised of three operating sections and Administration. The Division is responsible for production, quality control, water treatment, distribution, and related services to approximately 55,000 water customers.



Youth Groundwater Festival, 2015

The City of Rockford Water Quality Group participated in the annual Youth Groundwater Festival on 3/11/15.  The event is held at Rock Valley College and focuses on teaching local 5th grade students the value of groundwater.  Students participate in hands on water testing and groundwater model demonstrations.  Pictured is Lauren Carlson, Water Quality Technician, teaching a group how to perform various tests.  


Gwf 2015





Airport Water Main Break, March 13, 2015






The 12" water main located within the boundaries of the Chicago/Rockford Airport, caused a "little bit" of damage when it burst yesterday.  City Water crews will be replacing that main today.  During the digup, it was revealed that the damage was caused by the small hole pictured on the right. 










City of Rockford, new phone numbers, March 11, 2015


If you need help with your account, paying your bill on line, or to find out other information regarding the City of Rockford, please contact the City of Rockford, Call Center at 779-348-7300.  There will be a Customer Service Respresentative waiting to assist you, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. 

If you have a question regarding Water Quality:  779-348-7151

If you see a main break in the street, Water Distribution:  779-348-7153

if you have a leak in your house, Water Field Services:  779-348-7152



Well 31 Reservoir Rehabilitation, March 6, 2015


Have you ever wondered what a water reservoir looks like on the inside?  Well 31 reservoir (pictured above) has been undergoing maintenance to reline the walls to prevent leaks from occuring.  The reservoir will be refilled with water and disinfected over the next two weeks.  The reservoir will be fully operational by Spring, 2015.  Next week in "this week in water", we will cover the lining process.  Stay tuned!



Taste Test, March 3, 2015


The City of Rockford Water Division was proud to be a part of the 2nd Annual, District 1, Water Taste Test.  North Park Water took first prize and will be representing the utility at the Illinois American Water Works Association, Taste Test at the end of March, 2015.  We wish them the best!  We would like to extend a special thanks to Willette, Hofmann and Associates for judging and sponsoring the competition!



Tonia Howard, Water Program Coordinator, Wins ACTION Award for Customer Service

Tonia Howard ACTION Award

The bitterly cold temperatures last winter created a hardship for many of our water customers.  Pipes froze both inside and outside homes and businesses in many areas of the City.  The Water Division recognized early on that having customers run their water to keep pipes from freezing was a cost-effective way of reducing the number of service calls for no water.  To encourage customers to run their water we developed a program for reimbursing customers for the additional charges on their water bill. 

Once the deep freeze was over, Tonia gathered the information necessary to calculate the reimbursement for over 700 customers.  She calculated normal usage based on historical data and compared it to how much was used from January through March.  The effort to pull that information together and calculate the reimbursement was significant.  But, that was only the beginning.  Tonia took numerous calls to explain the calculation to customers.  In several cases she had to explain why the customer did not receive a credit.  She is a master at helping our customer's understand the logic and fairness behind our process. 

This is just one example of Tonia's excellent customer service.  Tonia's service to the citizens of Rockford sets a standard we should all strive for.  It is for that reason that Tonia received the Individual Customer Service ACTION Award (pictured with Tim Holdeman, Water superintendent, Jim Ryan, City Administrator and Mayor Lawrence J. Morrissey).



Reservoir Rehabilitation at Well 31 - January 29, 2015


 Based on an inspection done by Strand Associates on our reservoirs in early Spring, 2014, it was found that the reservoirs at Well 31 and Well 18 were in need of repairs.  Repairs have started at Well 31 and will focus on sealing the cracks, painting and lining the reservoir.


Water Division Top Operator Competition, January 14, 2015


Top Ops Winners


The City of Rockford Water Division held a friendly competition today to establish a three member team of operators to represent the City of Rockford at the State Top Operator Competition to be held in March, 2015 in Springfield, IL.  Today's top winner was Water Superintendent, Tim Holdeman.  Tied for second place, Nadine Miller,  Water Quality Supervisor and Kyle Saunders, Water Treatment Supervisor    Great fun was had by everyone!


Water Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), January 12, 2015



 In conjunction with the Illinois Department of Transportation’s South Main Street reconstruction plans, the Water Division, under the same contract, is currently replacing and upsizing the water main (including hydrants and services to the property lines) from approximately Ogilby Ave. to Cedar Street.  The existing water main ranges in size from 6” to 8” and age from 1905 to 1944. 














Pre-Bid Meeting for Well and Pump Services - January 12, 2015

Pre -bid Meeting 2015

In an effort to better maintain, rehabilitate, and upgrade our vertical line-shaft water wells and short turbine booster pumps, the City of Rockford Water Division hosted a pre-bid meeting with potential well and pump services contractors to answer any questions they may have in reference to the Waterworks Contractual bid opening scheduled for January 15th, 2015.


Consistent Water Supply for Structure Fire - January 6, 2015


Rockford Fire was dispatched to a fully involved four-story commercial structure fire at 1916 11th Street on January 6, 2015.  The City of Rockford Water Division supplied almost two million gallons of water.  There were four aerial ladder companies running approximately 1500 gpm (gallons per minute) to put this fire out.  Rockford's newly renovated water system responded to this extraordinary fireflow demand as designed.  Thus, the citizens of Rockford did not experience any significant change in water pressure during the many hours of firefighting.





Wallin Street Easy Valve Installation, December 4, 2014

Wallin Easy Valve Installation _edited



The Water Division has tried a new method of valve installation.  Pictured is an "Inserta Valve" installation that installs a valve under water pressure, without the need to stop water to customers.   This process includes the removal of the entire pipe section (coupon) and installation of a new valve.


This new installation process was a success and no water shut down was needed.





















Water Division Prepares for Winter Months - November 13, 2014


The City of Rockford Water Division is preparing for winter weather.  Some important planning to note before freezing weather:



Know the location of your water shut-off valve.

Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets. 

Wrap outside faucets with insulation, newspaper or cardboard.

Turn off and drain irrigation systems and backflow devices.

Wrap backflow devices with insulating materials.

Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as the garage, crawl space or attic.

Cover foundation vents with foam board, newspaper or cardboard.

If you "fly south for the winter", have water turned off.  Leave heat at a minimum of 55 degrees. 






Well 17, Demolition - September 19, 2014

U17 Demolition Timeline


It was determined that Well 17 on Brookview Road was no longer needed due to upgrades in Well Houses around that area.  Pictured above are before and after photos of the process.






City of Belvidere visits Rockford's filtration plant - August 21, 2014

Belvidere Tour

Managers and operators from the City of Belvidere recently visited Rockford’s new water filtration plant on Bell School Road.  Belvidere will be constructing a new filtration plant similar to the Rockford plant.  Belvidere managers and operators got to see what they will be operating in the near future and listen to what Rockford supervisors have learned during 4 years of operation.  The new plant is highly automated through the use of programming logic controls; demonstrated in the photo by Kyle Saunders, Rockford’s Water Treatment Supervisor.  Rockford’s Bell School Road facility reduces the iron concentration from about 0.8 mg/l (parts per million) in the raw water to about 0.05 mg/l after it passes through the filters.  As a result of the treatment process employed by Rockford Water, water customers receive drinking water that is clear and safe.      


Hydrant and Valve replacement - August 7, 2014

Hydrantinplace       Hydrant -valve Lift Out

Pictured above - a valve and hydrant replacement at SE corner of 3rd and Jefferson. 


Water Quality Quarterly Sampling - July 3, 2014

Sample Collecting For Byproducts - 7-3-14 

This week, Water Division staff from the Water Quality Group collected samples of our drinking water for analysis of Disinfectant Byproducts (DBPs).  The sampling is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency in order to measure the byproducts in the distribution system created by the disinfection (chlorination) process. 

Samples are collected at the periphery of the City’s water distribution system.  Sampling locations are selected based on the results of hydraulic modeling of the water in the distribution system.  The photo shows Water Quality Technician, Lauren Carlson, collecting a sample from a fire hydrant located in the far East side of the City.




Spec. 4 Ralph A. Barcelona, still remembered by Water Division - June 23, 2014

Ralph Barcelona Picture   Spec . 4 Ralph A. Barcelona Plaque , 1111 Cedar Street , Rockford , IL 


 The Water Division has had the pleasure of employing many talented individuals, however, none have made such a lasting impression as Spec. 4 Ralph A. Barcelona.  Ralph worked for the Water Division until he joined the United States Army in August, 1968.  He served in Vietnam for six months with an airmobile 7th Cavalry unit of the 1st Cavalry Division, when he was killed in combat on June 13, 1969.  At that time, a plaque was placed at the base of a flagpole at the Water Division's Administration Building, 1111 Cedar Street,  in rememberence of our fallen brother.  In 1971, Ralph's parents donated a grand piano memorializing their son and his love for music to the Rockford Public Library.  Ralph's mother wanted to make sure that her son's memory was "lasting to the city", something we want to make sure happens also. 


In 1986, the flag was stolen from the flagpole and memorial site at the Water Division so the local chapter of Vietnow repaired the damage and replaced the flag.


In June, 2014 the Water Division began renovations to the front entrance and signage around the flagpole and plaque.  All work should be done by the end of the summer.  The Water Division will continue to show honor to Spec. 4 Ralph A. Barcelona and his family for years to come.  


Special thanks to Jean H. Lythgoe, Rockford Public Library, for all her research. 





Over 40 years and Bill is saying "Goodbye......"

Bill Gaulitz Retirement 6-20-14

Bill Gaulitz, Water Distribution Operations Supervisor, is retiring after over 40 years of faithful service to the Water Division and the City of Rockford.  Bill has dedicated much time and effort in making sure that water is delivered to the Citizens of Rockford.  Bill has spent countless hours responding to main breaks and service leaks.  Bill ended his career with a big bang of frozen services and was instrumental in dealing with the 2013/2014 winter of over 200 frozen services.    Thanks for your dedication and service to the community!!!!



Water Main Replacement - June 5, 2014

Pictured below is the same corner at Cedar Street and Avon St almost 100 years apart.  The 2014 project included the replacement of an old 6" watermain that needed to be properly sized to an 8" watermain.  The new 8" main will be tied into an almost 100 year-old 24" watermain.  Once the ground was dug up, it was revealed that the near 100 year-old 24" main-line was in excellent condition, not showing a day of age.  We would like to commend our 1921 Water Division and the staff from 1921 for their forward thinking and their dedication to the community.  Their investment into quality materials and infrastructure has proven successful still today!


1921 And 2014




Millenium Fountain - Open for the Season - May 27, 2014

The Millenium Fountain opening marks the beginning of an active season for the Water Division.  The spring and summer seasons kick off many programs that the Water Division plans for every year.  We will highlight some of those programs in the coming weeks, which will include:  flushing hydrants, fire flow testing, leak detection, solar panels, large meter replacements, and preventative maintenance of well houses.  Stay tuned to this Water Channel, you won't want to miss a thing!!


Millennium Fountain 2011.jpg


Rehabilitation of well at Well House 42 - May 16, 2014

The Water Division’s well contractor, Layne-Christensen, recently completed the rehabilitation of the City’s Well 42, located on Newburg Road.  This work was conducted as part of the Water Division’s preventative maintenance program for its water production wells.  Maintaining the performance of the wells at a high level is critical for ensuring water customers have a safe and reliable water supply.  The work performed included repairs on the pump, motor, and column pipe along with reconditioning of the wellbore.           

Well 42 Well 2014




Water Division Leader at National Emergency Academy 4-day training - May 7, 2014

The Water Division has a sent one of its management staff to participate in the National Emergency Management Leaders Academy, at the FEMA Emergency Management Institute in Maryland.   The course introduces effective management qualities, strategic thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and is followed by strategic planning, budgeting, mission/vision statements, resource and risk management, stakeholder communication/collaboration/coordination, public advocacy/communication, and change management.  The program will strenghen our emergency management staff and help develop core compentences necessary to fulfill responsibilities in mitigating outcomes, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters.







Flushing Season Has Begun - May 7, 2014

The City of Rockford Water Division will begin flushing the week of May 12, 2014.  Flushing Zones 2014 8.5x 11


Frost out - Safe to Turn Water Off - April 8, 2014


The City announced today that it is safe for residents to stop running their water to keep pipes from freezing.

See attached Press Release for more information


Frost still 6 feet deep - March 17, 2014

The City of Rockford is asking residents who have been running their water to keep pipes from freezing to continue to do so.  According to Public Works Director Timothy Hanson, “The ground is still frozen and will likely stay frozen well into spring.”  Director Hanson explained that warmer air temperatures will thaw the ground from the surface down.  He added, “Our pipes are buried 5 to 6 feet below the ground surface.  It will take many warm days for the thaw to reach that depth.”


See attached Press Release for more information.           PRESS RELEASE click here



Youth Ground Water Festival, March 13, 2013

City of Rockford water quality staff participated in the annual Youth Groundwater Festival held on March 12, at Rock Valley College.  Nadine Miller, Water Quality Supervisor and Larry Pierce, Water Quality Technician worked with regional 5th graders teaching them the importance of groundwater protection.  The students participated in hands on water quality testing and data analysis.  The students also learned about the sources of groundwater and participated in “Dripial Pursuit” which is a friendly competition between the schools and a favorite of the students.

YGF 2014 4



Rockford Water wins District 1 - Water Taste Test, February 13, 2014

Willett, Hofmann & Associates hosted the first District 1 Water Taste Test.  Judging was done by Willett, Hofmann & Associates at their facility in Dixon, Illinois.  Six Water Utilities submitted water samples to compete in the competition.  Water was judged by clarity, smell and taste.   Pictured are the Judges critiquing the samples.



The scores were tallied and the City of Rockford Water Division came in First Place!  Production Manager, Ashley Bernard and Water Quality Supervisor, Nadine Miller accepted the reward on behalf of Rockford.  Congratulations Rockford, for having the #1 Water in District 1!!!  The winner moves on to the state competition.  We will submit our sample on March 18, 2014 for the Illinois American Water Works competition. 






Cold Weather Preparedness and Your Water, February 3, 2014

PipebreakClick here for more information on winter weather preparedness


During Freezing Weather:

Snowflake For Website  Open cupboard doors under sinks, (especially where plumbing is in exterior walls), to let interior warm the pipes.

Snowflake For Website  Temporarily keep a steady drip of cold water at an inside faucet farthest from the meter.   This keeps water moving making it less likely to freeze.

Snowflake For Website  If you are away for any length of time, shutting off the water can reduce the chances of broken pipes.  Leave the heat on at least 55 degrees.  Unplug the softener so it won't regenerate.  Call Water Division at 815-987-5700 to turn off water at the meter.

Snowflake For Website  Notify the Water Division if you notice or suspect a leak.  815-987-5700



Local Science Students Learn about Groundwater, December 18, 2013

St Eds 12-18-13


On December 18, Water Quality Technician, Larry Pierce and Water Quality Supervisor, Nadine Miller visited St. Edwards School and presented Groundwater theory and the Groundwater Model to the 4th and 5th grade science classes.  Some groundwater topics covered included how wells work and pump water, how you get water to your home, and groundwater protection.  The groundwater model that demonstrates how groundwater travels through geological layers was also presented.   Students were given hands on experience working with the model.”



Water Division Recognized for Leading by Example, November 8, 2013

Progress at Well 37 - October 1, 2013

Proficiency Testing - September 30, 2013

Illinois EPA Lead and Copper Program - September 24, 2013

Well 37 Vessels - September 21, 2013

Demand Response Reduction Event - September 19, 2013

Cathodic Protection - September 12, 2013

Chemical Feed System and Pump Training - September 6, 2013

Well 37- Granular Activated Carbon - August 26, 2013

Water Inspectors are serious about Safety - August 23, 2013

The Water Division supports local students through an Internship Program, August 9, 2013

Looking forward to the future, August 8, 2013

Consumer Confidence Report - 2012 - June 19, 2013   CCR-2012

Millenium Fountain - May 27, 2013

Water Division Accepts Proclamation - May 13, 2013

Drinking Water Week, May 5-11

Water Division Achieves Full Compliance - April 18, 2013

Flushing Season has begun! - April 16, 2013

Fire flow Testing has begun - April 15, 2013

Youth Groundwater Festival, March 13, 2013

Well 30 Pump Pulled - January 3, 2013

Zone Control Valve - #10 on the move - 12-14-12

Water Quality Technicians - Award Recipients - December 7, 2012

Soil Characterization Study - November 9, 2012

Hydrant Crews Attend Training - October 30, 2012

Preventative Maintenance Testing - October 22, 2012

Training - Excavation and Trench Safety - October 18, 2012

Main Break 10-3-12

Voluntary Water Use Restriction Lifted - September 7, 2012

The City of Rockford has lifted the voluntary water restriction for the residents of Rockford.

Environmental Lab - Recertification - August, 30, 2012

 Dedication & Open House at Well 10 - June 5, 2012

Well 36 Dedication - May 3, 2012 IEMA Training Class - May 3, 2012

Baker Place Water Main - May 2, 2012

Field Days - May 1, 2012

Chlorine Leak - Mock Scenario - April 26, 2012

Fluoride Award Received for Perfect Compliance - March 21, 2012

Ground Water Festival - March 14, 2012

Emergency Planning & Preparedness - February 22, 2012

Innovative Method for Improved Water Quality at Closed Hydraulic Zone Valves - February 16, 2012

Generator Testing - January, 2012

Rockford Water Division will be participating in the Youth Ground Water Festival on March 14, 2012

Rockford Water Environmental Lab will sample Ryan Air - December 1, 2011

Well 13 - Open House and Dedication - November 10, 2011

Well 31 Solar Panel Project - October 21, 2011

Rockford Water Division to participate in Illinois State Water Survey - October 16, 2011

Customer Service Call Center - October 5, 2011

Preventing, Detecting, and Responding to Drinking Water Contamination - October 5 - 6, 2011

Environmental Lab - September 19, 2011

National Ground Water Protection Day - September 13, 2011

Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC’s) detected in two private wells in Winnebago County - August 22, 2011

Hydrant Hit on Pepper Drive - August 19, 2011

Water Utility Master Planning - August 15, 2011

Well House Dedication - Well 5 - July 27, 2011

Heat Advisory - Water Conservation - July 18, 2011

Continued Training and Evaluation of Work Processes - July 15, 2011

Rockford's Certified Lab Bacteriological Testing - July 8, 2011

Well 4 Demolition - July 5, 2011

2010 Consumer Confidence Report mailed to Customers - July 1, 2011

Visit from Design & Projects Manager of the General Water Directorate of Qassim - June 24, 2011

Replacement of Valve at Tay and Corbin - June 21, 2011

Broken Service on Concord Avenue - June 13, 2011

Signs Posted at the Millennium Fountain - June 4, 2011



Mayor Toasting Water.bmp IMG_0006.jpg Well House no .jpg Vessel.jpg Well 29.jpg

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Special thanks to Jason Rotello and Tamika Jones for contributing images for the City of Rockford website.