Lake Michigan Comes to You
The DuPage Connection
Treated water leaves the reservoirs at the Jardine Plant and flows to eight pumping stations located throughout Chicago. The water serving DuPage County initially flows to the Central Park Pumping Station. Central Park is where the Commission first tapped into the Chicago lake water supply.
The Commission added 2.4 miles of a 12 foot diameter tunnel to the City’s distribution system. This was constructed through limestone, 150 feet below the surface. The tunnel ends at the Lexington Pumping Station, located at Lexington and Laramie, near Chicago’s western city limits. The Lexington Station and the tunnel connecting it to the Central Park Station were constructed for the City of Chicago by the Commission under a buy back agreement.
The Lexington Pumping Station is one of the largest treated water pumping station in the State of Illinois. Excavating all the way down into bedrock, 90 feet deep, the construction of this station took 36 months to complete. Currently, the station can pump 220 million gallons of water per day. With modifications, it will be capable of pumping even more when required in the future.
There are eight pumps that send water to DuPage County. Each pump has a daily capacity of 37 million gallons. In addition, two 120 million gallon per day pumps are used to fill a 30 million gallon reservoir just east of the station. The reservoir water supplements the City’s tunnel system during high demand periods. Each of the large pumps, by itself, could fill the reservoir in about six hours.
The Lexington Pumping Station draws water from two 96-inch diameter pipes connected to the end of the 12-foot diameter tunnel. The eight 37 million gallon per day pumps push the water up to the discharge pipes. The water then continues its journey to DuPage County through a 90-inch and a 72-inch diameter water transmission main. These mains, constructed by the Commission, transport water west to the reservoirs at the DuPage Pumping Station in Elmhurst.
The treated water travels 9.3 miles from the Lexington Pumping Station to the DuPage Pumping Station. This facility houses the administrative offices of the DuPage Water Commission. The DuPage Station’s nine distribution pumps have a pumping capacity of 185 million gallons of water per day. The station’s reservoir, like the Lexington Station’s reservoir, holds 30 million gallons. The complex control center is equipped with sophisticated computers that monitor the delivery of water through more than 185 miles of transmission and feeder mains to the Commission’s wholesale customers.