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Clearing the water ... issues

SPRING VALLEY — It’s been a long road, but things seem to be looking up for Spring Valley when it comes to its water and wastewater issues.

City engineer Jack Kusek told the city council this week that Well 10 has had several good samples free of bacteria, and he has heard no word from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency about it.

“Hopefully, that is a good sign,” Kusek said.

The city has had conflicting tests on the well in the past, occasionally getting bacterial results and then not.

Chamlin and Associates consulting engineer Larry Good said the work on the wastewater treatment plant is almost complete. Good is requesting a 120-day extension to submit information to the IEPA about improvements to the city’s sewer and wastewater treatment plant.

The deadline for the reports is mid-February, but Good needs additional time.

A combined Water/Sewer and Finance Committee meeting was set for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19 to discuss these and other projects. Mayor Cliff Banks requested anyone considering running for an alderman position should come, as it is part of Spring Valley’s future plans.

The microorganisms introduced to the sludge at the bottom of the wastewater treatment plant lagoon decreased volatile solids by about 25 percent.

“The microbiology we did on the lagoon was beneficial,” Kusek said.

He didn’t recommend doing it again on a large scale because the majority of the volatile solids are gone, and what is left won’t be impacted by the microorganisms. Instead, they should be part of regular maintenance, and a new filter should be added to keep sludge levels at bay.

The sand filter currently at the plant does not take care of the fine suspended solids, which is what creates the sludge in the long run, and needs to be replaced with something that can filter out algae and other solids.

The city still has to decide when and how to remove the rest of the sludge from the lagoon.

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