CHICAGO HEIGHTS | The Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District has eliminated its 8-year-old infiltration/overflow limits program.
The district’s board last week voted to eliminate the program, saying that new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations make the local program unnecessary.
“It seems to us that we don’t have a role to play anymore,” said Executive Director Jennifer Hindel.
The district, which serves as a waste water treatment provider for businesses and about 100,000 residents of Chicago Heights, Crete, Homewood, Park Forest, South Chicago Heights and Steger, had a 35-million gallon offline wet weather retention facility.
It was used to determine whether the sewer systems owned by each municipality were contributing excessive infiltration and inflow of rain and snow melt into sewer collection systems.
In extreme circumstances, the sanitary district bypasses some of the excess untreated water it receives into Thorn Creek.
But federal EPA regulations are now providing for direct oversight of municipal sewer system owners and has its own process for dealing with those municipalities that let too much rain and snow melt get into their systems.
“Recognizing increased direct oversight by the EPA of municipal sewer systems, the district believes now is the right time to step back from its primary role in enforcing municipal sewer rehabilitation efforts,” board President Thomas Brabec said, in a prepared statement.