Engineering Evaluations

An engineering evaluation is a complete and thorough inspection of water supply operations, facilities, records and reports. During the on-site portion of the evaluation, problems or deficiencies are discussed with the operator, and suggestions and recommendations for correction are discussed. Recommendations for overall improvement of the operation are also described. Arrangements can also be made for field operations personnel to attend a council or board meeting to explain requirements, improvements or changes to water supply custodians. An engineering evaluation letter describing the status of the system and any required changes is sent to the owner or official custodian of the supply, with a copy to the operator. This letter may be the first step towards formal enforcement action.

Routine engineering evaluations are scheduled based on time elapsed since the last evaluation was conducted at the facility, or when operational conditions or reports indicate that a complete evaluation may be beneficial to ensure continued compliance. Engineering evaluations are targeted to be conducted statewide on approximately a three year cycle, with surface water supplies targeted for annual inspection.

Some engineering evaluations are scheduled by the Headquarters office based upon identified health and safety violations or uncorrected violations such as sampling violations (monitoring & MCL), permit violations and operational violations. Unless a violation creates an imminent health hazard, the evaluations are scheduled by the regional manager to fit in with other duties. Violations which may create a health hazard are treated as an emergency--on site evaluations are conducted immediately.

Follow-up inspections are conducted after formal enforcement has occurred. Follow-up inspections are used to verify compliance with Illinois Pollution Control Board orders, Circuit Court orders, or Compliance Agreements. All follow-up inspections are considered on a case by case basis. Follow up visits consisting of a complete engineering evaluation can be conducted to determine system compliance with a Board order, Court order or compliance agreement, or to document and verify partial or total completion of a project in progress to achieve compliance. Monitoring or reporting violation compliance proceedings are not always verified by a follow up visit. If required samples, reports or information are being submitted correctly and on time subsequent to formal enforcement, the follow up inspection can be phased in as a routine engineering evaluation. If the required samples, reports or information are not being submitted as directed, an operational visit may be scheduled to determine the cause and determine the need for further formal enforcement.