DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Officials in Danville lowered the water level in Lake Vermilion by a couple feet.
They say it’s fairly unusual to have to do, but there’s a reason for it. “We’re working in cooperation with the Vermilion County Conservation District. They are looking to make repairs to their boat launching area here at the park,” said Bob Ervin, Aqua Illinois Area Manager.
They’ve brought the water level down in the lake by about two feet to do so. “It serves as Danville and Vermilion County’s drinking water supply, but we realize there’s a great economic vitality to the area,” said Ervin. That includes recreation, boating, and fishing.
Craig Lewallen has been boating on the lake for a few years, but the lower water level has some slight advantages to people who use it. “I kind of like the idea of them lowering the lake because right now i’m able to see all the stumps and when I have my boat out there I’ll know where to go and where not to go.” But the boat ramp’s condition makes it hard on boaters. The concrete is fractured and uneven.
In just a few days, the road will be fixed and the water will rise again, according to Ervin. “Basically We’ll make gate adjustments at our dam…it’s kind of an unusual thing we’re going through, we strive very hard to maintain the lake level.”
Lewallen says it’s only the second time he’s heard of the level being intentionally lowered. “They lowered it once before to dredge the lake, not sure when it was, early 90’s.” While the intent behind the change this time is slightly different, Ervin said it will soon be back to normal, “We’re at a place right now where we’ll hold it at the level until the conservation district gets the repair work done.”Officials say the level will be back to normal by the end of this week. They do not expect any impact to the drinking water supply. They say they have enough supply to last more than a year.