CHICAGO | The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s Calumet Pumping Station, which controls the amount of bacteria that gets into the Little Calumet River, will be among the first projects for renovation paid for by a state loan.
Gov. Pat Quinn was at the pumping station, at 400 E. 130th St., on Monday to announce a $250 million loan from the Illinois Clean Water Initiative that is meant to help pay for environmental projects across the state.
The water district plans to use the money to pay for repairs and renovations of its facilities across the Chicago area. But the Calumet station, along with the O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant in Skokie, will be the first beneficiaries of the funds.
Money will be used to pay for disinfection equipment at the facilities to treat water to ensure that it meets proposed fecal coliform standards. At the Calumet plant, chlorination will be used to kill bacteria before wastewater is returned to the Little Calumet River.
The facility was built in 1985 as part of the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan to control sewer overflows captured in the deep tunnel system into a main for transfer and treatment. About $117 million will be used to rebuild two pump rooms, each of which can handle about 150 million gallons per day.
“We are taking a big step forward to clean up Chicago-area waterways and create thousands of good jobs," Quinn said in a prepared statement. "We are committed to making Illinois a national leader in clean water, which will lay the foundation for a stronger economy for generations to come.”
State officials say all the projects to be paid for with this loan will create 2,000 construction jobs, and about 8,000 more permanent positions at the renovated facilities.