(Public Notices and Review documents will be posted here when available and necessary)
Public Notification of new Odor Correspondence Submissions
Fillable Form: “Resident Correspondence Log” can be accessed at: https://www.gbww.org/residents/odor-noise-other-complaints/
Submit to: WebCorrespondence@gbww.org
As we enter the warmer summer months, Glenbard Wastewater Authority would like to proactively reach out to our neighbors to inform you about matters that occur at our facility located on Bemis Road. Hopefully, some of you were able to join us at our Open House on June 1 and saw the size and complexity of what we do to treat the wastewater for the Villages of Lombard and Glen Ellyn and surrounding unincorporated areas. Our facility treats raw sewage for approximately 80,000 residents and is one of the larger wastewater treatment facilities in the Chicago suburbs.
Although the majority of our incoming flow is sewage from residential, commercial, and some industrial sources, precipitation patterns also affect the volume of flow coming to our plant. Sanitary sewers typically are intended to convey only sewage; however, due to minor defects in the systems, illegal connections (e.g., basement sump pumps, storm sewer crossovers, etc.), and other factors, stormwater often makes its way into sanitary sewers. Therefore, when it rains, we often see our flows increase considerably. In addition, approximately one third of the Village of Lombard has “combined sewers,” which means that sewers act as both sanitary and storm sewers, and stormwater runoff from these areas also comes to our plant for treatment.
As you can imagine, the wastewater that we receive, as well as the process that treats it, is odorous in nature. Although the odors are not harmful to humans, they can be annoying, embarrassing, and uncomfortable. In later summer months, several factors affect the condition of the flow entering the treatment plant and, subsequentially, the odors that are produced:
• Historical patterns indicate less frequent rainfall in later summer months, which results in consistently lower flows being conveyed to our treatment facilities. Because less rainwater is being mixed with raw sewage, the sewage is more concentrated and therefore more odorous.
• The lower volume of flow traveling through the sewer system creates lower velocities as the flow travels to the treatment plant. The resulting increase in the summer’s “Time of Concentration,” or sewage travel time, gives sewage more time to break down on its way to the treatment plant, therefore causing stronger odors once it begins the treatment process on site.
• The warmer the water temperature, the more biologically active the sewage can be, which contributes to a quicker breakdown of the raw sewage in transit and during the plant’s treatment process. Since much of our service area is on Lake Michigan water, and because much of our incoming flow is water that goes down drains, the temperature of the water coming to the plant is driven largely by the temperature of the water being drawn from Lake Michigan. Because of this, although air temperatures can start to cool in September and October, the water coming to the plant can still be warmer in temperature, which can contribute to more intense odors.
We are even more at the mercy of weather conditions when it comes to wind direction and speed. Although our plant always generates odors, prevailing winds typically travel west to east, sending odors toward the only border of the treatment facility without immediately adjacent neighbors. Therefore, when winds shift out of the east, north, or south, downwind neighbors may notice the odors more significantly, even though the plant and treatment process has not changed or failed.
In an effort to be a good neighbor and mitigate odors to the best of our ability, the Authority undertakes a number of measures to proactively reduce odors, including:
• Starting in spring, near areas of the plant with a greater potential for odor, an odor-neutralizing mist is dispersed in the air. This is dispersed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until early winter, when there becomes a potential for the mist to freeze.
• During later summer months, when warmer water temperatures and lower flows are a greater potential, the Operations Department enacts standard operating procedures and proactive measures (additional measures can be found at our website: www.gbww.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/LOW-FLOW-ODOR-SOP.pdf):
Increasing the potency of the odor neutralizer;
Adding “freshening water” to the gravity thickener;
Shutting off exhaust fans during evening hours;
Ensuring that diamond plating is in place to cover areas of sewage exposed to air; and
Performing plant rounds to ensure there are no additional sources of odor.
In addition, the Authority hired a third-party consultant to perform a more in-depth study to help identify measures that could further mitigate odors. Many of the results from this study require larger capital projects, which the Authority’s Executive Oversight Committee is evaluating. The results of this study can be found in Section 6 of the Authority’s Facility Planning document (see www.gbww.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2018-Facility-Plan.pdf).
While we never would dismiss any of our neighbors’ notifications, odors are generally in the nature of a wastewater treatment facility and can be amplified by the discussed weather conditions even though the plant is functioning properly. For more than five years running, the Authority has not exceeded any limitations mandated by its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit issued by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). Emitting odors does not count as a violation of this permit, since it is nearly impossible to eliminate all odors coming from a facility of our size and nature. The odors simply are related to the treatment of wastewater, to weather, and to flow conditions.
Prior to receiving any communications from neighbors, it is likely that Authority staff already are aware of odorous conditions and have begun taking proactive odor-reducing measures. However, in an effort to receive constructive communications from neighbors, the Authority encourages you to complete the online submission form “Resident Correspondence Log” found at https://www.gbww.org/residents/odor-noise-other-complaints/ and to submit it as an e-mail attachment to WebCorrespondence@gbww.org .
As previously stated, since we are not always able to control odors, no immediate response will be given when completing the online form. The form will be used as a resource to collect information and to return information to you if requested. If you would like an immediate response to any issue, please call our main number at 630-790-1901. If it is after hours, the recording will indicate how to reach the on-call operator.
Public Notification Program for the Combined Sewer
The Glenbard Wastewater Authority (Authority) formed through an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Villages of Glen Ellyn and Lombard creating Regional Wastewater Treatment Facilities. Included in those facilities is the CSTF which operates under the Authority’s Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) Permit numbers IL0022471-001, 002 and 003. The Village of Lombard owns and maintains a collection system that incorporates approximately seven square miles of residential and commercial development tributary to the CSTF. The Authority, has developed this web page entry to notify the public of any discharges that occur from any of the three (3) permitted outfalls associated with the CSTF. These outfalls all discharge partially treated effluent into the East Branch of the DuPage River.
The CSTF, IL Permit Number 0022471, discharged at ~ 4:10 PM, on May 27, 2019, for a period of ~ 49.75 hours, with a total discharge of 62.083 million gallons, due to a rain event of ~ 2.93″, which began on May 27, 2019 at ~ 1:13 PM, with a duration of ~ 41.75 hours.
Days are classified as 12:00p.m to 12:00p.m for permit reporting of the CSTF. If at any time you have questions regarding the discharge of the CSTF to the East Branch of the DuPage River or how the Authority treats the water, please do not hesitate to contact Authority staff at (630) 790-1901. Click here to view the Authority’s storm water plant.
Glenbard Wastewater Authority awarded NACWA Platinum Peak Performance Award
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) is the nation’s recognized leader in legislative, regulatory and legal clean water advocacy – helping ensure a strong, sustainable clean water future. Every year NACWA peak performance awards recognize facilities for excellence in complying with their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. The NPDES permit states water quality criteria that the Authority must meet in the water we discharge after treatment. For the past five years, the Authority has achieved a “Gold Award,” which is given to facilities with no NPDES permit violations for the entire calendar year. After five consecutive Gold Awards, facilities are eligible to receive a “Platinum Award,” which is a prestigious honor. For achieving 100% compliance with our NPDES permit through 2018, the Authority is being awarded a Platinum Peak Performance Award for the very first time in its history.
For more information and a list of other/past winners please visit https://www.nacwa.org/about-us/awards/peak-performance-awards
Phone: (630) 790.1901
Fax: (630) 858.8119
Monday – Friday
7:30a.m. – 4:00p.m
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© 2019 Glenbard Wastewater Authority - Glen Ellyn, IL.