New MWRD Treatment Facility to Better Manage Lemont Storm Water
Low-interest loans from Illinois Clean Water Initiative will allow Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to update region’s water infrastructure, clean up rivers and improve public health.
A $30 million low-interest loan to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) will allow the district to construct a Wet Weather Treatment Facility at the Lemont Water Reclamation Plant to better manage storm water.
The loan is part of a $250 million low-interest package announced Monday by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and financed through the Illinois Clean Water Initiative. The loan will allow MWRD to move forward with crucial projects to “update the region’s water infrastructure, clean up area rivers and improve public health,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.
State Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) said in a press release this week that the Wet Weather Treatment Facility will help the Lemont plant better manage storm water and reduce the destruction caused by future strong weather systems in the region.
“After the numerous devastating storm systems that swept through suburban Illinois in recent years, many local residents can tell you first-hand just how important updated water infrastructure and drainage can be,” Radogno said. “Flood situations, especially flash-floods, can be extremely dangerous, not to mention destructive.”
Radogno noted the Lemont Water Reclamation Plant, located on the canal just east of downtown Lemont, is the smallest of the seven plants operated by MWRD. According to the governor’s office, the MWRD operates one of the world’s largest wastewater collection and treatment systems, handling sewage for more than 5.25 million residents, thousands of businesses and industries in Chicago and 125 suburban communities spread across 883 square miles. The MWRD has 554 miles of intercepting sewers and force mains and more than 10,000 local sewer system connections, as well as seven treatment plants and 23 pumping stations able to treat more than two billion gallons per day.
“Today we are taking a big step forward to clean up Chicago area waterways and create thousands of good jobs,” Governor Quinn said. “We are committed to making Illinois a national leader in clean water, which will lay the foundation for a stronger economy for generations to come.”
“We’re putting thousands of unionized building trades workers back to work, cutting the cost to local governments of financing clean water projects and ensuring safe drinking water for consumers,” echoed Illinois Finance Authority Executive Director Chris Meister. “It’s win-win-win.”
Besides the Lemont Wet Weather Treatment Facility, other future MWRD projects that will be financed with Clean Water Initiative low-interest loans include:
- $117 million for disinfection facilities at the Calumet and O’Brien Water Reclamation Plants to meet proposed fecal coliform standards.
- $18 million for replacement of the O’Brien Sludge Pipeline, an 18-mile pipe which carries sludge from the O’Brien facility in Skokie to the Stickney facility for treatment and disposal.
- $15 million for a phosphorus recovery system at the Stickney Water Reclamation plant, recovering phosphorus that would otherwise be discharged into waterways and converting it into a form that can be sold to the fertilizer industry, offsetting treatment costs and avoiding the environmental impact of rock mining the product.
- $10.6 million for rehabilitation of the 95-year old Des Plaines River Interceptor Sewer 1 that serves the Villages of Westchester, Broadview, Bellwood, Berkeley, Hillside, Maywood, Melrose Park, River Forest and Forest Park.
- $10 million for a state-of-the-art advanced biological process at the Egan Wastewater Reclamation Plant in Schaumburg to remove nitrogen from pollutants while cutting energy usage by 40 percent to treat this flow.
- $9.1 million to rehabilitate mechanical and electrical components of the TARP tunnel systems to improve safety, prevent flooding and maintain functionality for another 30 years.
- $5.6 million to reduce nuisance odors from the corroded Upper Des Plaines Intercepting Sewer. Construction is expected in June.
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