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updated: 7/17/2013 5:49 PM

Big plans for Round Lake-area sanitary district site

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By Conor Morris
cmorris@dailyherald.com

Lake County officials plan to spend $7.5 million to improve the outdated Round Lake Sanitary District site.

Some of the planned improvements for the facility operated by the county's public works department include demolition of old filtration beds and construction of a new pump station.

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As part of the project, Round Lake Beach officials also plan to install a new recycling drop-off center there.

The 37.5-acre site is near the Round Lake Beach public works building between Sunset and Hawthorne Drive. Owned by the Round Lakes Region Sanitary District, it was home to a wastewater treatment plant built in the 1960s.

When the regional wastewater treatment plant was built in Fox Lake in the late 1970s, most of the Round Lake Sanitary District site's facilities were closed.

A pump station still operates today, but officials say it has become outdated. David Humbert, head project engineer with the Lake County Public Works Department, said heavy rains cause sewers below the sanitary district to become taxed and the nearby wastewater lagoon to overflow.

Humbert said the county plans to contract out work to dredge the lagoon this fall. They also plan to contract out work to build a new, larger pump station in 2014.

"There are already overflow issues on that system and this is needed to create a buffer when we have heavy rain events. It's not an ultimate solution, but it's the first step," he said.

Humbert said the county also will demolish two filtration beds in 2014 -- relics of the former wastewater treatment plant.

Lake County Public Works Director Peter Kolb said plans also include landscaping, replacing the perimeter fence, and reworking the nearby drainage ditch. Part of the goal is to create an aesthetically pleasing buffer between the site and the nearby residential area and middle school.

"Not a large amount of effort was placed on the site's visual impact originally," Kolb said.

Humbert said the county plans to pave a road to the gate near the current pump building to serve as the entrance to the new recycling drop-off center.

Round Lake Beach village Trustee Larry Mount said the recycling drop-off center would be a good addition because no such facility operates in the Round Lake area. The closest center of this kind is in Grayslake, which Mount said collects a sizable 15 tons to 20 tons of recyclables each quarter.

The new facility would be a central site for recyclables not normally taken by curb collection. No cost estimate has been developed for the work, officials said.

"We want to do this to help the residents. Everyone wants to recycle these days. Kids even learn about it in schools and then they go home and tell their parents about it," he said.

Village officials are unsure of when the drop-off center will be installed and operational. Most of the county's work will be contracted out for the sanitary district by 2014.

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