Village of Burlington Receives Illinois EPA Grant to Develop Sewer Plan
The Village of Burlington in Kane County is one of 18 statewide recipients to share in $515,500 in Illinois EPA (IEPA) Unsewered Communities Planning Grant Awards. Burlington was awarded $22,500 to be used to develop plans to address wastewater collection and treatment in the village.
According to the IEPA, the Village of Burlington has not had a wastewater collection, conveyance, and/or treatment system in its over 100 years of existence. All wastewater treatment has been of the private septic system type.
The Unsewered Communities Planning Grant will help the community of Burlington to develop a project plan to address problems of having no existing publicly owned collection system and treatment works system.
"Communities that lack proper wastewater collection and treatment systems have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of their residents as well as Illinois waterways," said Illinois EPA Director John Kim. "Illinois EPA is excited to see more communities take advantage of this funding, which we will continue to make available to help identify solutions and plans to meet their needs and protect the health of our residents."
Once the Village of Burlington completes its project plan, the information, along with all required application materials, could be used in the application for funds from the Unsewered Communities Construction Grant Program (UCCGP). The UCCGP Program can provide up to $5,000,000.00 to successful applicants that can be used to construct a sanitary sewer collection system/wastewater treatment plant for the community.
In 2020, Illinois EPA committed to making up to $1 million available for four years for planning grants to assist small and disadvantaged communities in developing a project plan that identifies a solution to wastewater collection and treatment needs. This is the second round of Unsewered Community Planning Grants, following $1 million in grants announced in the spring of 2021.
"Since day one of my administration, I've been committed to the health, safety, and wellbeing of all Illinoisans," said Governor JB Pritzker. “It is unconscionable that—in the year 2022—there are still underserved neighborhoods throughout our state without access to up-to-date wastewater collection and treatment systems. Thanks to the EPA's investment, our communities will get the resources they need and deserve to upgrade their water infrastructure—creating a cleaner, healthier, and better Illinois."
Many of these "unsewered" communities have patchwork systems or decades-old underground "wildcat" pipes that illegally discharge to surface waters, according to the Illinois EPA newsrelease. For a majority of these communities, there is a lack of local revenue to invest in the construction and long-term operation and maintenance of adequate collection and treatment facilities. Additionally, many do not have the planning capacity needed to identify solutions and develop project plans.
The Illinois EPA's UCCGP (Unsewered Communities Construction Grant Program) is making $100 million available over a five-year period through the state's Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan for construction of wastewater collection and/or treatment facilities.
SOURCE: Illinois Environmental Protection Agency media release and Infrastructure Financial Assistance Section of the Illinois EPA