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Chatham FAQs

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 15:15 -- ChathamIL

Below are some commonly asked questions.  If your question does not appear below please feel free to contact us at the Village Utility Office (217) 483-2451.

Why does my water get milky white?
Milky white water, also commonly described as cloudy, hazy, soapy, or foamy is almost always caused by air in the water. One of the many properties of water is its ability to dissolve gases-including air. Sometimes the air comes back out of the water in the form of many tiny bubbles; this gives the water a milky white appearance. To see if the white color in the water is due to air, fill a clear glass with water and set it on the counter. Observe the water for 2 or 3 minutes. If the white color is due to air, the water will begin to clear at the bottom of the glass first and then gradually will clear all the way to the top. This is a natural phenomenon and is completely normal; the water is safe to use. This situation can happen when the water gets cold, or whenever the water has been turned off for repairs. Cold water holds more dissolved air than warm water. In the winter and spring, the water is cold and contains a relatively high level of dissolved air. As the water moves through the water mains in the street and the pipes in your house, it begins to warm up and lose some of its ability to keep the air dissolved. However, because the water is under pressure in the pipes, the air remains in the water. When you relieve the pressure by opening the faucet and filling your glass with water, the air is now free to escape from the water, giving it a milky appearance for a few minutes. Another way for this milky white water to form is after your water utility has worked on the water main (i.e. flushing) or you have had work done on you plumbing. When the water is shut off, air can get into the water main or your pipes. When the water pressure is restored, some of the air dissolves into the water. When you again relieve the pressure by opening the faucet and filling your glass of water, the air is now free to escape from the water thus giving it a milky white appearance for a few minutes. If your water is cloudy/milky and does not clear in a glass after 5 minutes, you should call the village of Chatham water department for testing.

I am putting up a fence.  Do I need a building permit?

You must have a building permit for most structure, structural change, or fence.  You must call J.U.L.I.E. to have your utilities located before doing any digging.  J.U.L.I.E. is a free locator service and can be reached at 1-800-892-0123 or the easy to remember 8-1-1.

Is there a leash law in Chatham?

There is a leash law.  Domesticated animals, including but not limited to dogs, shall not run at large within the village limits.  The village has a contract with Sangamon County Animal Control to pick up dogs and some other animals at large.  If your animal is picked up, there will be a fine to retrieve it.

Can I park across sidewalks?

You are not allowed to park on or across sidewalks.

Can I park a vehicle along the street if the vehicle does not run?

The inoperative vehicle ordinance states that all vehicles on your property must start and run under their own power or the inoperative vehicle will be towed at the owner's expense.

What am I allowed to burn on my property?

The village burning ordinance bans all burning other that bare twigs generated from the trees on your property.  The fires must be on the open ground on your property and properly attended, and may only be between sunrise and sunset on Wednesdays through Saturdays only.  There is no burning allowed on holidays or when the wind speed is over 12 mph.

There is a hole in the street by my property, can I fill it with rock?

You are not allowed to put rock in ditches or along the road.  Please contact the village at (217) 483-2451 before dumping rock or putting in culverts.

When is my utility bill payment due?

UTILITY BILLS ARE DUE ON THE 15TH OF EACH MONTH.  The Village Office has a drop box for your convenience on the east side of their building in the drive-thru.  All returned checks will be assessed a fee.

Can I put our portable basketball hoop on the street?

Portable basketball hoops and trash containers are not to be placed on village streets or right-of-ways.

Can I landscape around my water and electric meters?

Landscaping can be done around meters.  HOWEVER, NO  landscaping or coverage of meters may be done which blocks the view or access or your water or electric meters.  All landscaping must be kept pruned at all times.  All landscaping is subject to removal for maintenance on the meters.

Who do I call if I am having sewer problems?

If you have a sewer problem (backing up, etc.) call the Village and we will check to see if it is a Village problem or the homeowners.  The village will assist you in determining the problem.  However, the property owner is responsible for maintenance and repair of the service line.