State grant backs new Quincy water source

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QUINCY, Ill. (WAND) – The construction of a new Quincy well is meant to help slow down the spread of Legionnaires’ disease at the city’s veterans home.

A total of $3 million from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will be combined with funds from the city to build the groundwater source, which will supply water to the people of Quincy and the Quincy Veterans Home. Legionnaires’ disease, which can be contracted by inhaling water vapors, has claimed at least 13 lives since a 2015 outbreak.

Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore praised the move as a way to provide safer water while reducing costs. Gov. Bruce Rauner says it will make a difference.

“We’re committed to bringing the best quality water to the residents in Quincy and our heroes at the veteran’s home,” Rauner said. “Our teams have worked continuously since 2015 to reduce the threat of Legionella at the home and this well will only add to the efforts we have taken. This is another step forward as we move to build a world-class facility at the home.”

The city will operate the Ranney collector well after it opens. It will take water resources from the Quincy aquifer’s permeable sand and gravel deposits, which state leaders say will mean less organic content is in the water people use. They say it will also mean less chemical treatment is needed and the water will be cooler.

“Switching to a groundwater supply simplifies treatment by providing a physically and chemically consistent raw water, and protects the water supply against chemical spills,” said Quincy Director of Utilities and Engineering Jeffery Conte.

Illinois EPA Director Alec Messina says the well will mean a “safe alternate source” of water and better “water chemistry” in the Quincy area.

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