SPRING VALLEY — Engineer Larry Good provided information about combined sewer overflows during a public hearing held prior to the Spring Valley City Council meeting on Monday. Most likely, it won’t likely be the last meeting to discuss the issue.
“We will most certainly be back to talk to the council,” Good said.
While the city has been working to separate its sanitary and storm sewers, there are still 9 points of overflow from the combined sewer system during periods of heavy rain. The wastewater treatment plant can handle a maximum of two million gallons of water per day of combined flow, and anything beyond that is bypassed to the aerated lagoon.
The city is working to alleviate these overflows through operation and maintenance changes that would make sure the maximum amount of combined sewer flow is going to the treatment plant and not being discharged directly into a stream or river.
The city separated about 300 acres of combined sewers in 2009 and 2010, and the Long Term Control Plan for the overflows will help bring the city into compliance with Illinois Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
According to Good, the next step in the process is to examine the various options for solving the overflow and determining costs for implementation and operations.
Those options include: Offline storage of the overflow and pump back, cleaning and maintenance of the interceptors, transportation of the overflow water and treatment, treatment of the water at the overflow site, further separation of the combined sewers and conversion of the east lagoon into online detention for the water.
The next public meeting will likely come after the options have been examined but not chosen. The meeting will give the public the opportunity to find out about the options and comment before the council makes a decision.
“We need to do this again when we have the facts and figures in front of us,” Good said,
Good hopes to have everything sent to the IEPA in February.
Alderman Dan McFadden asked if spending the money and implementing the Long Term Control Plan will be enough, given the IEPA’s tendency to increase restrictions over time. Good said he couldn’t guarantee things wouldn’t change and that the IEPA has a tendency to become more stringent rather than less stringent.
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