Municipal water systems to provide quality water
The Village of Danvers, like nearby communities, is located in the Mahomet Aquifer found in east-central Illinois. The aquifer is high in dissolved minerals and iron and contains naturally-occurring arsenic. Subsequently, the Village’s water system was found to contain high arsenic levels in its raw water supply, and the community had been unable to sustain a treatment process to maintain quality potable water. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) documented numerous drinking water quality violations over the course of several years in relation to the elevated arsenic levels. Additionally, an Administrative Order was issued by the U.S. EPA regarding non-compliance with arsenic levels in the finished potable water. The community knew they needed to act in order to provide clean drinking water to its current and future residents.
The improved drinking water supply
To provide the best possible solution, potential system improvements were considered and a pilot study conducted. Due to proactive planning and the pilot study, the Village had a strong plan of action prior to receiving the inevitable mandate from the EPA. This allowed the Village to offer a realistic compliance deadline that could be met in order to avoid penalties or fines.
The Village’s proactive approach enabled them to complete planning and preliminary engineering to identify a solution to bring their finished water in compliance with federal regulations. The recommended treatment facility plan was based on results and conclusions from the pilot testing—with proposed processes that included: aeration, chemical oxidation and co-precipitation; flocculation, settling, filtration and post-chlorination.
To finance the $3.4 million project, a low-interest loan through the Illinois EPA’s Public Water Supply Loan program was secured. Due to limited space near the existing water treatment plant, a portion of a nearby municipal park was incorporated for use in the new treatment facility. A butterfly garden was created on the remaining green space to create a park-like setting and the facade of the new building was built to match the existing facility, creating an aesthetically-pleasing—as well as a healthy—new addition to the community.
ASCE Central Illinois presented the 2016 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award to the Village and MSA Professional Services.