Four DuPage County towns will receive nearly $69 million in low-interest loans from the state to improve their water treatment facilities.
The loans will allow projects to move forward in Addison, Bensenville, Elmhurst and Wood Dale, according to a statement released Thursday by Gov. Pat Quinn's office.
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Construction already has started on the largest project, a $30 million expansion and upgrade of Bensenville's wastewater treatment plant.
Upgrading the facility is expected to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows and basement backups and help ease flooding problems in the community, state officials said.
"Improving the wastewater treatment plants in DuPage County will not only improve water quality for the region, but it will also ease flooding problems experienced by these communities," Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Lisa Bonnett said in a statement.
Bonnett said clean and safe water is key to making communities attractive places to live, work and do business.
Wood Dale will receive a $21.8 million loan from the state to upgrade and rehabilitate a wastewater treatment plant.
The improvements are needed for the village "to meet current and future environmental permitting requirements," state officials said.
Meanwhile, Addison was given a $6.7 million loan to replace six lift stations and to improve its two wastewater treatment plants.
"They are getting major upgrades," Addison Village Manager Joseph Block said of the work at the wastewater treatment plants. "We're replacing systems that are like 30 years old."
Block said work already has begun on the $3.3 million project to replace the lift stations, which are about 50 years old. In addition, a roughly $2.2 million contract has been awarded for the first set of improvements to the treatment facilities.
Officials said all the improvements were identified in Addison's master plan. The village will use sales tax revenue to repay the state loan.
Elmhurst, meanwhile, will receive $10.1 million to make improvements to its sludge processing facilities. The city also has a wet weather control plan to ease flooding problems and control sanitary sewer overflows and basement backups.