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Investing: How Improving Water Systems Pay Their Share

The Village of Lena was in need of an upgrade to their water system due to some issues identified in a recent inspection. The inspection revealed that the water supply, storage and distribution systems weren’t functioning at their intended capacity. Several “low fire flow” areas were identified which led to the design and construction of a new 1,500 gpm well along with a new elevated 400,000 gallon storage tank and installation of an approximately two mile stretch of new water distribution main.

As a result of the project, the improved water system garnered an ISO (Insurance Services Office) Class 4 rating, an upgrade from the Class 5 rating previous to the additions. Insurance companies use the ISO rating scale to set insurance rates and the improvement in rating will provide residential and commercial property owners lower insurance rates in the future. According to Village President Dennis Bergman, Of 47,899 communities in the United States that ISO rates, only 8,436 are rated at a Class 4 or better putting Lena in the top 17% in the country. The Village of Lena also is covered by a volunteer fire department, making the upgrades even more important for the safety of the local residents.

This story is a great example of stretching local dollars and providing some relief to residents through updated, efficient water systems. Being aware of the ISO ratings and how those can be improved is also a key to progressive commercial and residential development.



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