O'Fallon Progress

Here's what sewer system upgrades the city of O'Fallon is planning

O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach.
O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach.

Last week, we covered road projects planned for this coming year. Like every summer, construction season is expected to be busy, but worth it in the end. You can read about the road projects at ofprogress.com or ofallon.org.

In this week’s column, I am going to discuss water and sewer projects set to begin over the next few months. Water and sewer projects are funded solely by user fees (utility bills). So, unlike road projects, no tax dollars go to water and sewer projects.

Our water and sewer systems are structured to operate like a business with the goal of breaking even. We are always evaluating, researching, and adjusting to keep rates low, yet charge enough to keep the system in good shape. When it comes to maintenance of our infrastructure, the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is very true.

For those who may not know, the city of O’Fallon provides water service to the city of O’Fallon and Fairview Heights. We buy the water, wholesale, from Illinois-American water and distribute it to our 20,000-plus water customers.

The city regularly replaces and extends water lines to maintain the quality of the system. This year’s construction list includes the Southview watermain replacement phase 1, W. State Street watermain replacement, and Union Hill Road watermain replacement.

The city of O’Fallon is the water provider for O’Fallon and Fairview Heights, however, we only provide sewer service for around half of O’Fallon, and we don’t provide any sewer service for Fairview Heights. When water enters our sewer system at one of the many entry points (sinks, showers, toilets, etc.), it must travel to our treatment plant on Reider Road. Getting it to our treatment plant takes a great amount of piping, and intricate engineering.

At the treatment plant, the sewage is treated to meet all requirements set by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Once it meets the requirements, the treated (clean) water is released back into the environment, and any effluent left over from the process is disposed of properly.

The city regularly replaces and extends sewer lines to maintain the quality of the system. This year’s construction list includes the E. State Street sewer extension, Southview sewer lining phase 1, Woodstream trunk main replacement, and the W. State Street sewer replacement. The Wastewater Treatment Plant will also begin an expansion program.

If you have any questions about these projects, please reach out to our Public Works Department at 618-624-4500, ext. 3.

As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.