Keeping a watchful eye on Macomb's water supply

Downtown Macomb, Illinois

Drought across the Tri-State region has caused the city of


to look at alternatives for its water supply.

While it gets most of its water from

Spring Lake

, water levels were 10 inches below the spillway Tuesday morning.

Last month, Macomb began supplementing the lake water with water from one of the city's deep wells near the lake.

"That's not a normal process for us. In fact, we undertook some maintenance that had been deferred earlier this spring to make those wells capable of being used again, in anticipation of the drought. The wells have never been capped or anything. We just don't use them on a regular basis. We use, with one hundred percent certainty, the surface water we get from Spring Lake," Inman said.

Using the well has saved Macomb residents from extreme drought measures.

Mayor Mike Inman said Spring Lake was 24 inches below the spillway in 1988 before the city called for voluntary water conservation.

Inman says the city monitors the water levels daily as the city's population will soon double with the start of classes at WIU in the coming week.