Unsewered communities get grants to address wastewater treatment

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

Grants totaling $515,500 will assist unsewered communities lacking wastewater collection and treatment systems. In 2020, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director John Kim today announced last week.

This is the second round of Unsewered Community Planning Grants, following $1 million in grants announced in the spring of 2021.

“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,” said Governor JB Pritzker.

“Our communities will get the resources they need and deserve to upgrade their water infrastructure—creating a cleaner, healthier, and better Illinois.”

Communities are considered “unsewered” if they lack wastewater collection and/or treatment systems. Many have patchwork systems or decades-old underground “wildcat” pipes that illegally discharge to surface water and there is a lack of local revenue. Additionally, many do not have the planning capacity to identify solutions and develop project plans.

The Unsewered Communities Planning Grant Program (UCPGP) provides communities an opportunity to obtain funding to develop a Project Plan that will address problems with the collection and treatment of wastewater.

Grants are also available through the Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan for construction of wastewater collection and/or treatment facilities.

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