City Water Light and Power wins inaugural Source Water Protection Award at WATERCON 2014
The Illinois Section of the American Water Works
Association (ISAWWA) presented City Water, Light and Power (CWLP) with a Source
Water Protection Award at its annual WATERCON Conference held last week in
Springfield in conjunction with the Illinois Water Environment Association. CWLP won top honors
in the Source Water Protection-Large System Category for developing and
implementing exemplary source water protection programs for Lake Springfield.
Lake Springfield, a 4,200 acre reservoir, is
the largest municipally owned lake in Illinois.
The lake’s primary purposes are to serve as the source of drinking water
for the City and several nearby communities and as the source of condenser
cooling water for the City’s lakeshore power plant complex. The lake is owned and managed by CWLP. Lake Springfield was built in 1935 by
impounding water upstream of Spaulding Dam.
In general, the raw water quality of the lake is typical of many
In its submittal,
CWLP outlined the City of Springfield's Land Use Plan which preserves and
enhances the lake's reservoir. Since the
time of the lake’s formation the City has taken several precautions to preserve and enhance the reservoir. The City
retained ownership of all marginal lands to control access and reduce erosion.
The City has worked with several federal, state and local agencies and
non-governmental partners to improve the water quality of the Lake Springfield
Watershed (LSW). These on-going best
management practices on both agricultural and urban lands have resulted in a
lake with a relatively low capacity loss rate, good water quality, and fine
An alliance formed between CWLP and the Sangamon
County Soil and Water Conservation District SCSWCD) led to the formation of the
Lake Springfield Watershed Resource Planning Committee and in 1990 the first
watershed resource plan was written. The
committee currently consists of sixty members that include CWLP, SCSWCD, NRCS,
IEPA, farmers, fertilizer/chemical dealers, members from the Springfield Lake
Shore Improvement Association, college instructors and students. A Partnership was recently formed with SCSWCD, Lincoln Land Community
College, Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (ICBMP), local
agriculture retailers and producers that farm within the LSW to reduce
nitrate-N concentration in Lake Springfield.
is launching a 3 year special nitrogen management program and study to identify
nitrate-N levels in the watershed and to encourage agricultural retailers and farmers
to adopt a nitrogen management system in the watershed to minimize
environmental impact, optimize harvest yield and maximize input
The CWLP source water protection plan
contains vision, goals and an action plan.
The plan clearly describes the LSW characterization and implementation
of various Best Management Practices within the watershed. Evaluation and revision of the plan is major
to the many successes CWLP has attained within such a large watershed.
In picture: Water Division Manager Ted Meckes and Michelle
Nicol, Certified Lake Manager in the Water Resources Department, were
instrumental in assembling the information that led to CWLP's First Place
finish in the ISAWWA's 2014 Source Water Protection Award competition.