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Boulder Hill Water Quality Issues Continue to Bubble

May 21, 2014 12:44PM ● Published by Steven Jack

This photo of shows water on the right taken from a Boulder Hill tap earlier this week. Photo courtesy of Rick Jacobsen.

It smells, doesn't taste very good and you probably wouldn't want to bathe your little ones in it.

Rusty water in Boulder Hill has long been a problem, and residents continue to look for answers. The issue resurfaced this week when hydrant flushing caused water to appear even rustier than normal.

The village of Montgomery is the water supplier for Boulder Hill, and the head of the Public Works Department said recent water quality problems are symptoms of both short and long-term issues. 

In the short-term, Director Mike Pubentz said hydrant flushing in the area has caused discolored water to flow through the system. To help alleviate that problem Pubentz said it’s essential for residents to run their cold-water taps until the water appears more clear. 

“If people aren’t seeing any improvements after doing that, they should call us and we can come out and do some additional flushing,” he said.

A few residents have contacted the village in recent days to discuss water quality issues, Pubentz said. They’ve also spoken out on the Only Oswego Facebook page.

“I (have) been having this problem lately, and it hasn't been just today,” wrote one Boulder Hill resident.  “… This is gross and frustrating; I have a newborn, so I went and bought the 5 gallon jugs just to wash my baby's bottle!!! They need to fix this problem!!!”


The village of Montgomery began work last year on an $8 million water main improvement project for Boulder Hill. The project is being funded with bonds paid for by Boulder Hill residents in the form of a $15 monthly fee hike passed last year by the Montgomery Village Board. A fact that doesn’t sit well with most residents.

“When I fill the tub for my daughters bath it's rusty colored,” wrote another Facebook reader. “Hate this!! Don't like paying the extra $30 (every two months) either.”

The first phase of the three-part project has just been completed and phase 2 will begin in the coming weeks. Pubentz said the water quality in the project’s phase 1 area (southwest Boulder Hill) has shown “marked improvement” since several mains and lines were replaced last year.

Phase 2 will replace mains and line on and near Surrey Road, Chatham Place, and Hubbard Way this year. Phase 3 work calls for replacing various hydrants and valves throughout Boulder Hill. 

Even though almost 19,000 feet of line is being replaced through the project, that’s only 15 percent of the total in Boulder Hill, Pubentz said. So, with improvements to mains and lines, sporadic rusty water may still be a problem in the future. 

“Even with all the upgrades there is still a lot of infrastructure that is old and deteriorating,” Pubentz said. 

In the meantime, Pubentz said residents are urged to immediately contact the village with any water quality problems. 

Call 630-896-9241 to report a problem or email

Residents are also encouraged to check frequently for updates, Pubentz said.

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