ROCHELLE – Rochelle city officials, Rochelle Municipal Utilities staff and both local radio and television news outlets gathered outside Rochelle Well 12 to celebrate the completion of a $3 million investment into city’s drinking water system.
Well 12 was completed and went live in 2017, but in 2018, it began showing radium levels higher than the required amount set by the Illinois EPA. The recent project was completed to bring the radium levels down to the required amount as well as remove any iron in the water and update much of the technology used.
“With the new requirements, we decided to use the same Hydrous Manganese Oxide (HMO) technology used at the well by the high school,” said RMU Superintendent Adam Lanning. “We are using all state of the art monitoring and automation so the water quality is continually analyzed. All monitors are also connected to a SCADA system that will automatically shut off the water and call out to a worker if an alarm goes off.”
Along with the new automation, an employee will come out once a day to manually check the water quality. Work began on the project in the fall of 2019 and was recently completed this summer of 2020.
The cost of the plant itself was about $1.9 million, extending the sanitary sewer line from town was about $650,000, rehabilitating the well was around $100,000 and design and construction management was around $400,000 for a total of approximately $3 million. The work was contracted through Larson and Larson Builders Inc. and was funded through an Illinois revolving loan program through the IEPA at a 1.38 percent interest rate over the period of 20 years.
“I think that this will be a great addition to our water system and will be able to offer lots of high quality water for the next many years,” said Lanning.
Along with increasing the quality of the city’s drinking water and technology at the well, this investment will also help the city attract new businesses to the area. Without this well and water access, businesses would not be able to set up in this area of town.
“Now with all of this water and sewer capacity, we are moving south with our industrial development,” said Jason Anderson, Rochelle economic development director. “There is about 1,000 acres here that this will serve immediately and without this you don’t develop. This has a huge impact on the growth of our industrial base because the infrastructure is here.”
City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh, RMU Superintendent Adam Lanning and fellow RMU staff members cut the ribbon on the recently completed $3 million dollar investment into the city’s drinking water system. Pictured left to right (front row) are Fiegenschuh, Lanning, Jay Mullholand, Kyle Bridgeman, Dwayne Rangel and Joe Kinney.