CRYSTAL LAKE – The city of Crystal Lake has answered Lakewood’s call for help in alleviating the village’s ongoing flooding problem, according to a statement from Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley.
Shepley’s office emailed a statement Thursday night explaining that the city’s sanitary sewer system now has the capacity to accept additional waste flow from Lakewood “without impact or cost to Crystal Lake residents” after avoiding significant rainfall that was expected Wednesday night.
“We would like to assure all the residents of Crystal Lake, especially those who live in the hardest hit areas, that the assistance provided to Lakewood will not negatively affect them,” Shepley said in the statement. “Nonetheless, once we confirmed that providing assistance to our friends and neighbors in the village of Lakewood will not be at the expense of our own residents, we conclude that helping was simply the right and decent thing to do.”
Shepley said Lakewood leadership has been advised that Crystal Lake could stop accepting sewer waste from the village if conditions change, according to the statement.
More than 100 residents attended the Lakewood Village Board meeting Tuesday night and demanded solutions from the village for ongoing sewage and stormwater flooding that is hindering residents, many of whom live in The Gates.
When the suggestion of asking Crystal Lake for help arose, Village President Paul Serwatka promised to call Shepley and discuss a solution.
Serwatka said the two municipalities agreed Thursday morning to Crystal Lake pumping Lakewood’s sewer waste at a rate of 300 gallons a minute continuously from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. After the 12-hour period, city officials will further evaluate the stress additional flow puts on the city’s system and whether there still is a need from Lakewood.
“If everything goes smooth tomorrow, and we still have the need, we’ll continue on,” Serwatka said. “At this point, it’s anything we can do. We suspect this will take a substantial amount [of waste] out of the sewer.”