Oakwood Hills Peaker Plant Might Affect Prairie Grove School Well

A friend of McHenry County Blog sent the following after reading my article saying that the Prairie Grove School would not be affected by the two proposed peaker plant plant wells at the 1,380-foot level. Prairie Grove School’s is at 240 feet:

In reference to your article on the Prairie Grove School’s well at 240′ not being harmed by the proposed 2 wells for the peaker plant:

Prairie Grove School

Prairie Grove School

If you go back to your list of Crystal Lake’s wells (great job of showing those) you will see that wells No. 9 through 15 range in depth from 137′ to 258′ or shallow aquifer wells.

The deep aquifer wells in Crystal Lake and, I assume, Cary are already causing significant draw down in that deep aquifer.

Additional draw down – industrial draw down – from the peaker plant would cause the cities to be required to draw MORE of their water from their shallow wells to meet their needs.

This would most likely impact the Prairie Grove School’s well adversely. That is because those shallow wells are generally in the same or closely interconnected aquifers.

Just for more information about aquifers and their recharge – most deep aquifers, and that includes the ones in area you are talking about, are generally held to be Very Slow at their recharge rate.

It is not only Crystal Lake and Cary that are drawing from that aquifer.

Other munis are also. Thus the deep aquifer is currently being drawn down more rapidly than it can recharge.

People are simply using more water than the aquifers in our area can sustainably supply.

I could go on and on. It is a critically important subject and complex and interconnected.


Oakwood Hills Peaker Plant Might Affect Prairie Grove School Well — 4 Comments

  1. Who is your friend, what are your friends credentials?

    What are the facts to support the conclusion that “the deep aquifer is being drawn down more rapidly than it can recharge”?

    I am very skeptical of this claim.

  2. @jim. Many years ago I attended a meeting at the county about our water supply.

    There have been several threats to the water supply and I can’t recall which issue prompted this meeting.

    Possibly it was the Woodstock peaker plant or maybe the proposed landfill.

    Anyway they had a state hydrologist give a presentation.

    He showed where our water came from and how it recharged.

    Out of 102 counties in Illinois McHenry was in the top four of five for delicate aquifer.

    Remember that other communities get water from Lake Michigan.

    Fox Lake is trying to obtain rights to Lake Michigan water. ( Lake Michigan is actually low too )

    Maybe the fox river should be tapped as a supply.

    Elgin and Aurora presently use the Fox for water.

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