Cross Connection

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cross connection

Cross connection is a connection or pipe arrangement between a potable water supply and a private source of water. A hose is a common source of cross contamination. It connects to a potable water source and can easily be surrounded by contaminants such as detergent or fertilizer. The result of cross connection is backflow.

Is it possible to hook up to the water main at my well, so that I can use my well water or EJ water as needed – using just a switch to go from well to EJ

It is possible but it is not advised. If this is done a reduced pressure zone valve (RPZ valve) must be installed and inspected each year by a licensed cross connection inspector, with a report of the inspection filed each year with the EJ Water office. There is a substantial additional cost for installation and annual inspection of the RPZ valve.

What is backflow

Backflow is water of questionable quality or contaminants entering a public water supply system due to the reversal of water flow. If the water source that is connected to the hose, which is surrounded by detergent or fertilizer, experiences low pressure the flow of water is reversed.The chemicals from the detergent or fertilizer are then sucked into your home’s water source.

Can the same lines running from my well to my house be used for EJ

Yes, but only after the well has been abandoned.

When would I need to take a cross connection survey

In order to keep the area safe from the risks of backflow we send out a cross connection survey every other year along with our annual meeting packet to be sent back to us. We also keep the survey on our webpage so you can take it at any time. Our goal is to be aware of the risks of backflow that our posed in the area.

What can I do to prevent backflow

A hose bibb can be connected to your spigot to prevent backflow of your hose. Many homeowners are also installing backflow preventers at residential water meters.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a way to waive the $100 deposit fee

Yes. The homeowner can sign a contract to waive the $100 deposit fee. This will mean that the homeowner will assume full liability of prompt payment by the renter. This contract can be found under Forms and Documents. The $25 fee will still need to be paid to transfer the bill to the renter’s name.

I am a renter and want the water bill to be in my name

If you are a renter and want to take responsibility of the water bill you must fill out a renters agreement which can be found under Forms and Documents. This includes a $100 deposit that is refundable at the time you, the renter, have moved out if the account is in good standing. There is also a $25 transfer fee to move the bill to the renter’s name.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the membership if I decide to sign up after the line is installed

Under current policy, if a membership is purchased after the line is constructed, the cost is $2,500.00. Additional penalty costs may be assessed if water service is requested for property where an easement has been refused. Prices are subject to change.

Who is a seniority unserved member

These are members under the number 4,000 that signed up prior to September of 1995. We work to serve these members with priority when we receive grants. This is often time consuming so we provide a Cost Share Extension Membership option for members to get water service sooner.

What are the costs associated with reinstating a membership

The new owner would pay a $25 transfer fee to transfer the membership into their name, a $100 reconnect fee, as well as the monthly minimums and overdue payments missed since service was canceled. This amount will never go over $2000.

What is a cost share extension

This is an option we provide to those that do not want to wait for water service, which can be a time consuming process. These members agree to pay a portion of the cost of constructing a water main to their property. Cost share projects can be shared with neighbors that are along the same road that lacks a water main. Along with the neighbors that agree to share the cost, the co-op will also help pay for the extension with 25% of the cost.

What if I want to reinstate my membership after cancellation

You or future owners may reinstate the membership, but there is a fee associated with reinstating a membership. Also, if there are late fees on the canceled account it is the responsibility of the member who wishes to reinstate the service to pay this. This cost will never go above $2,000

When will you start returning capital credits?

EJ was formed in 1989, making our Co-op only 33 years old, which is young for a utility company. We have served the unserved and underserved areas through the years with grant funding and the Co-op had to match those grants with 40-year loans. While we have been able to pay off a few of those loans early, we still have millions of dollars in debt to pay off. Unfortunately, water is one of the most capital-intensive utilities. Capital Credits are generated from margins paid for operating expenses. Our current rate structure doesn’t support depreciation expense, therefore net income is not being generated and there are no capital credits to be allocated. Once the Co-op gets the debt paid off, margins will start to be generated and capital credits will be allocated to each member. The Board has recognized the importance of diversifying our revenue stream to help keep rates affordable and increase margins to pay off loans more quickly, which is why EJ offers a variety of contract services to other communities and has acquired more densely populated communities to spread out costs among more users.

If the owner before cancelled the membership why do I, the new owner, have to pay for reinstatement

The cooperative relies on the minimum payments members pay each month to pay back the debt of constructing the water mains. By canceling the membership the previous owner forfeited their water service as well as the responsibility of paying their monthly minimum.

What kind of costs are associated with a cost share extension

A membership fee for each meter added on the extension, applicable road bore costs, as well as engineering and easement fees.

What are the payment terms of a cost share extension

To determine the total cost, the interested party/member pays a $200 non refundable deposit. Once the length is determined an exact cost will be provided so the party/member can decide if they want to continue with the project. The payment is used for materials and necessary construction permits. It is broken into two payments. The first is sent in with the Residential Users Contract. If the party/member does want to move forward, the co-op will help pay for the extension by covering 25% of the cost.

How much is a membership if I decide to sign up before the line is installed

Under current policy, if membership is purchased prior to the water main being constructed, the cost is $1,000.00 ($150.00 sign up fee and $850.00 when the phase is approved). Prices are subject to change.

What if I want to cancel my membership

We do not do a final read of the meter up to the day of service (unless it’s a beacon). Other bills are prorated.

The Phase Process

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I be notified of a potential phase in my area

We will notify those in the area of a potential phase and invite them to an informational meeting held in the area. We will hold these meetings throughout the process to keep those in the community updated.

Why are you asking for easements before a phase has begun

EJ Water has to have 75% of the easements that are sent to the those in the potential area, signed, notarized and returned before we can apply to receive a grant. Without a grant we cannot begin the construction of water mains. The more participation from the community, the faster a project will go.

Does the entire phase have to be completed before the water becomes available to me

Water can be provided as portions of each phase are completed at the discretion of the contractor.

Land or Homeowner

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find an expansion tank

Any home improvement store.

If the area EJ needs to cross is fenced in, does the contractor contact the landowner prior to entering the property

Yes. The property owner, or their representative, must be present to allow the construction crew access to fenced areas.

Is the landowner required to have their work inspected if they install the line themselves from the meter

No. However, it does need to be constructed in accordance with the Illinois Plumbing Code and EJ reserves the right to inspect the work.

What about property damage during the installation of the water line

The contractor is responsible for clean-up when the project is complete. It will be several months after construction of the water main before clean up begins. It is necessary to allow ground to settle before leveling. Lawns are re-seeded and gravel is replaced in driveways. EJ will monitor the clean up, and we will do everything possible to facilitate the process. We will appreciate your patience as the clean up is being done. Individuals who have signed an easement are entitled to crop damage, but it is the property owner’s responsibility to file a brief claim for the crop damage with the EJ Water office.

Will I be reimbursed for crop damage

EJ Water pays for crop damage due to any construction or maintenance of the water main. We have a brief form that the landowner or farmer uses to fill in the crop loss information which can be found under Forms and Documents. Crop damage payments have historically been higher than market prices.

Where does EJ’s right-of-way easement start

EJ’s right-of-way easement generally starts where the public right-of-way ends, usually 20 feet from the center of the road. EJ’s easement will most likely encompass the next 20 feet; however, when laying the water main, EJ tries to stay within the first five feet of private property. Our 20-foot easement, in most situations, does allow us enough room to install the water main. A wider easement may be requested in order to avoid obstacles such as large trees, and to minimize damage. A right-of-way easement is only necessary where the water main is located; access to the water meters and service lines are included in the user’s contract.

Can the water main be installed without damaging or removing fences

The contractor is not allowed to cut or remove fences without the property owner’s permission. In most cases the contractor will backhoe under the fence. If a fence has to be removed it will be replaced to as good or better condition. In any event the property owner should be notified before any fences are removed

Why do you require an expansion tank

Thermal expansion occurs when water is heated during non-use periods. A closed system leaves the water with no room for expansion which can be dangerous. To eliminate this we require the installation of expansion tanks to give the water a place to go when thermal expansion occurs.

Who do I contact to install a water line to my house

The property owner is responsible for connecting a service line from their meter to the home.We have a licensed plumber on staff to provide services to install this water line, but you may choose another licensed plumber if you would like.

Where will my meter be placed

The meter needs to be located where it can be easily read by our Orion Reading System. (a radio read computer that reads from a vehicle on the road). The meter should be readily accessible by our servicemen and vehicles, preferably within 10 to 20 feet of the driveway. The meter, in most cases, may be placed anywhere on the property adjacent to the water main or adjacent to the property line.

Water Treatment and Distribution

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the water come from

Depending on your location, your water will either come from two well fields that tap the sand and gravel aquifer associated with the Embarras River Valley or from the Kaskaskia River and then ran through one of our two water treatment plants. 

How deep is the line buried

The water main is buried at least 42″ deep, even across hilly areas or under creeks. It is buried this deep to avoid damage from frost, and other threats.

What are the size of the water mains

Our distribution system consists of PVC water mains from 4” to 8” diameter, sometimes 10”. A member’ service line from the meter will most likely be 1” to 1 ½” depending on the distance of the water main.

Where can I find information about the water quality

Each year a consumer confidence report (CCR) or water quality report is made available to all customers through the mail and can be found on our website on the water quality report page. This yearly report records all of the test results for the preceding year and notifies our members of the water quality.

How often is the water tested

Water testing is regulated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA). Water is tested daily at both treatment plants for several parameters. Additional samples from the distribution system are tested monthly.

Is the water hard or soft

EJ Water has two separate water sources. The larger water source will supply softened water to our customers; however our original water source still produces moderately hard water at the recommended amount of 6-7 grains. A water softener is not necessary although some customers desire to use a water softener. Before the water is softened in our water treatment it is around 17 grains of hardness.

EJ Wastewater

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the sewer services be offered to everyone

No. We will only be able to provide sewer services to areas that have sufficient density (customers per mile) to support the investment and costs of running and maintaining these systems. Generally speaking, these systems will be offered in densely populated subdivisions, unsewered communities, and current towns looking to regionalize operations.

So if I don’t have wastewater services, how will I benefit from this

Wastewater services will encourage economic development. Housing development in the outer regions of towns will raise the population, boost school enrollment, and keep people from moving to larger towns for amenities that smaller towns have not been able to offer before.

Why did EJ Water begin this sewer service

EJ water has provided sewer services to area villages for over a decade. Not only is our crew skilled in this work, but EJ already owns the equipment necessary to perform the necessary work. We felt it would be a way to increase additional revenue.

Will my water rates be affected by wastewater

No. Rates for water will only be affected by the water operation, and rates for sewer will only be affected by the wastewater operation. Therefore if you only have water services your rates will not be affected by the wastewater portion of EJ’s business.