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updated: 6/3/2016 6:59 PM

Batavia preparing to borrow $30 million for sewage plant work

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Batavia is getting ready to borrow $30 million to fix up its sewage-treatment plant.

It is also working on separating combined sanitary-and-stormwater sewers in two residential areas, by hiring a firm to finalize engineering plans and to study drainage.

Aldermen will vote on both measures Monday night.

The city will apply to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for a Water Pollution Control Program loan.

The city would have to do the work, then submit its receipts to the IEPA for reimbursement.

The work is required in part to meet standards set by the federal and state governments. In the first phase, much equipment will be replaced, including some that has reached the end of its expected life.

The city will also install equipment to reduce phosphorus in the treated water it discharges in to the Fox River, to meet stricter federal antipollution standards.

Also, it will expand an administration building to add a sludge treatment wing.The current sludge treatment building will later be razed to make room to expand the plant so it can handle more volume.

The state has placed Batavia on a list where state review is needed before any additional buildings can hook in.

That is because the plant is near its capacity to treat maximum flow and its ability to handle the amount of organic waste generated by animals and humans, and over its capacity to handle solid substances suspended or floating in water.

Batavia began charging 6 percent more for sewer service this year in anticipation of the work. The rate increases will continue for two more years.

This would be just for the first phase of three needed at the treatment plant on Shumway Avenue, according to a 2008 consultants' report.

Doing all the work could cost as much as $60 million and be spread out over a decade, city officials say.

The council will likely hire Rempe-Sharpe and Associates Inc. of Geneva, for up to $25,975, to make final engineering plans for separating the sewers in Area 2 late this fall.

The firm would also analyze the capacity of sewers downstream of Area 3, and estimate the cost to separate sewers in Area 3.

Area 2 is about 4.5 acres along Elm Street, from just east of Batavia Avenue west to Jefferson Street.

Area 3 is nearly 41 acres, from Walnut Street south to Garfield Street and Batavia to about a half-block west of Harrison Street.

Interest in separating sewers and improving drainage picked up especially after a storm a year ago dropped more than 3.5 inches of rain on Batavia in three hours, overwhelming the sewers.

Residents complained that raw sanitary sewage backed up in to their homes through floor drains, sinks and toilets.

Combined sewers were legal when the neighborhoods were built.

In 1994, the Environmental Protection Agency began requiring municipal sewer systems to separate the two.

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