Engineer: Elburn needs own power source for wastewater treatment plant

by Martha Quetsch

It is “imperative” that Elburn install a power generator for its wastewater treatment plant, village engineer Bill Gain said.

Gain told village trustees on Tuesday that if there were a power outage from the plant’s current electrical source, areas of the village would experience serious residential sewage backups.

When the plant was built on Thrysilius Drive, it was fed by two power grids, from DeKalb and North Aurora. ComEd has since removed the DeKalb grid, so now the plant relies only on the North Aurora grid for its electrical power, Gain said.

If there were a power outage from the North Aurora grid, the plant would be without power for its lift stations, possibly for 12 hours or more.

“With no power at the lift stations, the Cambridge area, especially, would have flooding (sewage backups),” said Gain, of Rempe-Sharpe and Associates.

If the village had its own generator, it could provide all of the wastewater treatment plant’s pumping and equipment power needs now and in the future, when the village expands the plant, Gain said.

Gain said the generator and an enclosure for it would cost up to $590,000. He recommended the enclosure to reduce the noise from the generator.

Village President Jim Willey said the village would pay for the generator with money from the Wastewater Treatment Expansion Fund, which currently has approximately $1.5 million.

The village also could purchase and install a used generator. Village engineers are looking into the cost for that option.

Village officials will study the engineers’ recommendations and make a decision after obtaining estimates for a used generator.