The regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees of the DeKalb Sanitary District for the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 is to be held in the office of the District at 303 Hollister Avenue, DeKalb, Illinois at noon on the following dates:
An opportunity for Public Input is included in each month's agenda, and citizens are encouraged to attend the Board Meetings to give input or to write to the Board of Trustees in care of the DeKalb Sanitary District at P.O. Box 624, DeKalb, Illinois 60115.
The DeKalb Sanitary District’s Country Club Lift Station Project was recently awarded the American Public Works Association (APWA) 2012 Chicago Metropolitan Project of the Year in the less than $5 Million Environmental Category. This award was presented to the District Board of Trustees and staff earlier this week at their May 23rd Board Meeting.
The District has owned and operated a pump station on the west bank of the Kishwaukee River adjacent to the DeKalb Park District’s Buena Vista Golf Course since the 1960’s. This facility was located within the Kishwaukee River floodplain where floodwaters would reach up to 3 feet above ground and would breach the building during heavy rain events. The District identified the need to replace the existing lift station as part of their 2007 Facility Plan Update and the District’s engineer, Trotter and Associates, Inc. of St. Charles, began project design in 2008.
The Country Club Lift Station Improvements included the demolition of the existing sanitary sewerage lift station and construction of the new Country Club Lift Station. Construction of the publically bid, $1.9 Million facility, was provided by Williams Brothers Construction of Peoria. The new Country Club Lift Station was constructed adjacent to the existing lift station on the west bank of the Kishwaukee River to allow for the existing lift station to remain in operation while the new facility was being built. The new lift station included the construction of a concrete foundation and wet well with two submersible pumps capable of meeting the District’s current service needs and sized to allow for the installation of 2 additional pumps to address future capacity. The above grade masonry building was constructed above the floodplain and houses new instrumentation and control components as well as an emergency back-up generator.
Due to the District’s planning and schedule, this project was awarded funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 which was administered through the Illinois EPA Water Pollution Control Loan Program. Taking advantage of these funding programs resulted in nearly $1 Million in project cost savings, in the form of debt forgiveness and 20-year construction loans at a 0% interest rate.
The District would like to acknowledge the DeKalb Park District for their cooperation throughout this project. The Park District was able to offer continual construction access through the Buena Vista Golf Course for the duration of the 16 month project. The overall success of the project can be directly attributed to this type of cooperation.
Like the School District, the Library District or the Park District, a Sanitary District is a separate administrative and political unit of government from the state, city or town within which it resides.
The construction of the first sewer system here was completed in 1908 and enlarged to include septic tanks and stone filter beds in 1914.
A movement to "Kleen the Kish" was led by the Izaak Walton League in 1928. In response to the mandate of local voters, the DeKalb Sanitary District was organized July 12, 1928 as the 23rd District in Illinois to be incorporated under the Sanitary District Act of 1917. At that time, it became a distinct governmental and taxing body.
The Federal Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1972 and DeKalb Sanitary District came under its auspices as a "POTW" (a publicly owned treatment works). The District holds NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Permit Number #IL0023027.
The DeKalb Sanitary District is a Class I Wastewater Treatment facility responsible to the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the direction of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for treating all wastewaters in its Facilities Planning Area which contains the City of DeKalb and Northern Illinois University.
By agreement with the City of DeKalb, on November 1, 1987, the Sanitary District took over the ownership of the entire "sanitary collection system" (sanitary sewer mains and manholes) for the City of DeKalb. The District now constructs, repairs and maintains that sanitary infrastructure.
Within the Northern Illinois University Campus, much of the infrastructure is private and is maintained by the University. Sewer mains on City streets passing through the University are part of the DeKalb Sanitary District collection system.
The work done by a wastewater treatment plant is measured in MGD (millions of gallons per day) units.
On normal days, users of the DeKalb Sanitary District generate between 4.0 and 8.0 Million Gallons of wastewater. The chart that follows shows the average daily flow of wastewater to the plant for the year 2011 by month in millions of gallons.
|Month of 2011||Average Daily Flow|
Although the District is constantly improving the collection system to try to prevent excess flows during heavy rainfall events, undiscovered connections between the storm sewers or house tiling systems and the sanitary sewers still exist. That means that during rain events, water floods the collection system raising the plant flow to astonishing levels of 30, 40 or 50 Million Gallons of wastewater a day for brief periods of time, challenging the plant and its operators.
Residential users include about 40,000 residents in and around the City of DeKalb.
The District also serves the service and commercial businesses in its Facilities Planning Area. These include restaurants, retail stores, health care providers, recreational and entertainment enterprises.
The industrial sector includes local industries that are considered "Significant Industrial Users" under the Environmental Protection Agency's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination program. The discharges of these and other industrial users are regulated to protect the population and the environment. Testing is done to assure that the regulated industrial users are following the stipulations of their discharge permits.
The District treats the wastewater generated by Northern Illinois University. The more than 24,000 students attending NIU in DeKalb account for a significant proportion of the total wastewater volume that the plant at 303 Hollister Avenue treats and discharges to the Kishwaukee River.
The operation of the treatment plant is complicated by the University's large population, which is more than half that of the City of DeKalb itself. The flow coming to the plant from the University varies with the class schedule. The volume of wastewater the plant must handle jumps dramatically when the students return to campus and falls dramatically when they leave.
The treatment plant's design depends on biological organisms to remove organic substances from the wastewater. These living communities of organisms adjust to their environment. The quick upswing or downswing upsets the organisms, demanding great expertise on the part of plant operators to keep the biological treatment system in balance.
Administration phones are manned from 7 AM until 4 PM weekdays. Voice mail is available at other hours.
Operations personnel are at the plant throughout the day and night, but operators may be away from the phones for plant walk-throughs or collection system calls. Please try 815 758-3513 again, or call the night operator's cell phone at 815 762-1933.
If your call is urgent and you cannot reach us at the numbers above, please call the City of DeKalb Police Department dispatcher at 815 748-8400 for help in contacting us. They have a list of contact telephone numbers for our administrators and personnel.
The DeKalb Sanitary District treatment works lies on the east bank of the Kishwaukee River at the foot of Hollister Avenue. We are north of East Hillcrest Drive, south of Hopkins Park, and across the river from Tilton Park Drive.
The administrative offices are at the same location, housed in a long and low brick building with two entrances. Parking is available at the front of this building. Please sign in at the reception office. Use the lower of the two entrances.
The District's Open Meetings Act Officer is:Attorney Kevin E. Buick
The regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees of the DeKalb Sanitary District for the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 will be held in the office of the District at 303 Hollister Avenue, DeKalb, Illinois at noon on the following dates:
A suggested form to use for your F.O.I.A. request is available at "http://www.dekalbsanitarydistrict.com/foia.pdf" or call 815 758-3513, and we will mail or fax you one.
An opportunity for Public Input is included in each month's agenda, and citizens are encouraged to attend the Board Meetings to listen in, give input or to ask questions of the Board.
The regular monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees of the DeKalb Sanitary District is held the third week of each month in the office of the District at 303 Hollister Avenue, DeKalb, Illinois. The meeting is called to order at noon.
The public is informed of special meetings, continuations of meetings or workshop meetings by way of an email announcement sent to the Midweek, The Daily Chronicle, 1360WLBK, B95FM, The City of DeKalb public access TV channel and the Northern Star. The same announcement is posted on the DeKalb Sanitary District Home Page at "www.dekalbsanitarydistrict.com" and at the District office at 303 Hollister Avenue.
Agendas for each meeting are posted 48 hours before the meeting on the District website and at the District office. They are also supplied to the news media listed above.
Minutes from each Board of Trustees meeting are posted on the website and are available within 24 hours of having been approved by the Board. This usually takes place at the meeting held the following month.
The District's Open Meetings Act Officer is:Attorney Kevin E. Buick
The September meeting of the DeKalb Sanitary District Board of Trustees was held at the office of the District at noon on Wednesday, September 12, 2012. In attendance were Trustees Dennis J. Collins, Timothy A. Struthers and Carol B. Zar, Attorney Keith Foster, Treasurer Janice Tripp, District Manager Mark Eddington, Operations Manager Steve Olsen, Assistant to Manager/Human Resources Diana Foust, Finance Director David Storey, Secretary Betty Jones and Laboratory Supervisor Allison Yates. Matt Anderson of the City of DeKalb Water Department and citizens Ryan Janisch and Michael Embrey attended.
President Collins called the meeting to order.
Approval of the September agenda was made in a motion made by Trustee Collins. Trustee Zar seconded, and the motion carried.
Trustee Struthers made the motion to approve the August meeting minutes. It was seconded by Trustee Collins and carried.
After David Storey explained the necessary transfers, Trustee Collins moved to approve the transfer of:
Trustee Zar seconded, and the motion carried.
Trustee Struthers moved to pay bills as presented. Trustee Zar seconded. Motion carried.
In the Public input and Communications portion of the meeting, Ryan Janisch of 1521 North 14th Street explained the financial distress recent sewer repairs are causing his family, and Michael Embrey of 197 Hollister objected to the Board’s letter advising Hollister homeowners that the District has purchased 145 Hollister and would be open to purchasing other properties on that street if they are offered for sale. Matt Anderson of the City of DeKalb Water Department informed the Board of the proposal soon to go before the City council to change billing from quarterly to every two months.
Janice Tripp gave the Treasurer's Report and discussed investments coming due soon and those made this month.
David Storey presented a draft of the Fiscal Year 2011 to 2012 Audit and said that the Auditor will be present at next month’s meeting to review it with the Trustees before they consider it for approval.
There were no requests for Annexation or Pre-annexation.
Diana Foust presented an Employee Handbook Summary and said the handbook itself is under review by Attorney Foster’s office and should be completed soon.
Mark Eddington said that he and his staff are beginning a Health Insurance Review in hopes of securing a better insurance solution for the District.
Mark said that he is hearing proposals from companies offering Demand Response Programs and briefly described their system.
In Plan Review Mark said that the CVS and National Bank & Trust Company projects are wrapping up and discussed grease trap requirements for food service at Molly’s.
The District's motion for dismissal of the Illinois Pollution Control Board Action has not yet come up on the IPCB schedule.
The District is completing the sampling and testing requested by the USEPA in its review of DeKalb Sanitary District’s proposed Pretreatment Ordinance, which was prepared for it by McMahon Associates. Work on the User Ordinance must wait on the IEPA's approval of the Pretreatment Ordinance.An agreement to accept landfill leachate from Waste Management was developed by Keith Foster and is under consideration by Waste Management.
Steve Olsen updated the Board on the progress of the Screw Pump Rehabilitation.
There were no requests for Catastrophic Water Loss Relief received from the City of DeKalb this month.
Scott Trotter supplied the written Engineer's Report and loan summary, and deferred discussion until the individual agenda items.
Mark gave an update on the progress of the SCADA Improvements Project.
Trotter & Associates is working on the Facility Plan Update, and that work will be continuing.
Williams Brothers is working on the landscaping issues for the Biosolids Rehabilitation and Improvements Project and expect to finish this month.
There are problems with Madison Construction’s work on the Tertiary Filter Rehabilitation Project. Liquidated damages continue to be incurred since the July 4, 2012 completion date was not met. Multiple items remain outstanding.
Steve Olsen said Hydroaire is currently working on the remaining pumps for the Intermediate L. S. Pump Rehabilitation Project.
Trotter & Associates and District administrators are working on setting up a meeting with the City of DeKalb to discuss site fencing and security issues on the Meadow Trails Lift Station Improvements Project.
There was nothing new on the Hollister Avenue Water Main Improvements.
Elliott & Wood was delayed on beginning the 923 South First Street Sewer Extension Project but should start soon.
Elliott & Wood’s work on the 2012 Spot Repair Project should begin by the end of September.
Pipevision will be starting the 2012 Lining Project soon and has a preconstruction meeting with the District tomorrow.
Bids for the WWTP Pavement Rehabilitation Project were received on September 6, 2012. There were only two bidders. The Board wants the entire bid package to be completed now, and Trustee Collins moved to Issue the Notice of Award to Curran Construction of DeKalb, Illinois who had the low bid at $310,837.60. Trustee Zar seconded, and the motion carried. Mark asked that he be given authorization to issue the Notice to Proceed contingent on the insurance and bonds being adequate. Trustee Collins moved to approve this. Trustee Zar seconded, and the motion carried.
Steve Olsen and Trustees Collins and Zar will be attending the DeKalb Park District – Elected Leaders & Government Officials Luncheon.
In New Business, Steve Olsen filled the Board in on trees recently replanted and building painting to begin soon.
Trustee Collins made a motion to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel, litigation and land acquisition. Trustee Struthers seconded. Motion carried. The Board went into Executive Session.
After the Board returned from Executive Session, Trustee Collins moved to adjourn the meeting. Trustee Zar seconded. Motion carried.
President of the Board Collins adjourned the meeting.
Dennis J. Collins, President
Administrators for the Sanitary District are hired by the Board of Trustees and are responsible for the present operation and future growth of the treatment plant, the maintenance and improvement of the collection system and the stewardship of appropriated funds.
Administrative Office Hours are 7 A.M. until 4 P.M. and by appointment Monday through Friday at the office of the District at 303 Hollister Avenue in DeKalb, Illinois.
The phone number to reach any of them is 815 758-3513.
Officers are appointed yearly by the Board of Trustees at the April meeting.
The operators on duty must:
At least one operator is on duty at all times, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is a call-in system for needed help.
The cell phone for the after-hours operator is 815 762-1933. The City of DeKalb Police Department Dispatcher (815 748-8400) also has a list of contact numbers.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency says: "Wastewater treatment systems protect public health and the environment only if they are being properly operated and maintained. The Wastewater Operator Certification Program is intended to protect public health, environmental quality, and the financial investment of wastewater facilities....Applicants for certification must meet specific experience, education, and examination requirements in order to qualify for certification."
All DeKalb Sanitary District operations personnel have or are working towards Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. There are four levels of certification in all, each requiring different levels of knowledge, experience and expertise.
The process of treatment that begins when the collected wastewaters drain by gravity into the deep wells of the "headworks" at 303 Hollister Avenue, has as its goal the return of useable water to the environment to once again serve the needs of the community.
Mother Nature has always had a slow but very efficient process by which water is taken in by aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that remove organic contaminants which they use as food, filtered through rocks and soil as it is pulled by gravity into the deeper layers of the soil and the rocks beneath it and repurified, so that it is safe for human use when it is again taken up through wells.
What we do at the wastewater treatment plant is to accelerate the same process by which water naturally purifies itself in rivers and streams. We use mechanical and biological processes much like those found in nature to remove solids and contaminants from the wastewater. The process takes 10 to 13 hours from when the wastewater enters the plant headworks. Constant monitoring, sampling and testing assure that the cleansing process is working correctly.
Domestic sources are human wastes from toilets and household wastes from sinks, washing machines, bathtubs and showers. Each house has a private sewer service lateral that collects the wastes from the various drains in the house and carries them by gravity to the connection with the public sewer main (that is usually in the center of the street in front).
Up to 20% of the DeKalb Sanitary District's wastewater comes from the sanitary sewer collection system on the Northern Illinois University campus. The fact that the number of people contributing wastewater to the collection system changes dramatically from hour to hour, from day to day, and from month to month has a major impact on the DeKalb Sanitary District collection system and treatment plant.
Commercial sources (stores, theaters, recreational facilities, etc.) discharge much the same kind of waters as domestic sources. Because food service establishments discharge water contaminated by grease in great quantities, they are subject to special discharge rules that require grease traps to prevent grease discharge to public sanitary sewers. Grease can completely plug sewer lines, creating backups of sewer water that cannot escape in nearby homes and businesses.
Industrial sources are the water used in cleaning equipment, cooling waters and discharges of manufacturing processes. In DeKalb these account for only about 5% of the total flow. Some industrial source wastewaters must be pretreated to remove harmful metals and chemicals before they are allowed to enter the wastewater collection system.
An average of 6.72 million gallons of water comes through 130 miles of sanitary sewers throughout the District to reach the "headworks" at the sewer plant each day. The flow never stops, but varies throughout the day. During rain events, the rate of wastewater flow to the plant can increase by a factor up to ten times normal.
Most public sewer mains are 8 inches in diameter. Through the action of gravity (with the exception of 7 lift stations), these smaller sewer mains feed into larger ones (up to 18 inches in diameter) that feed into large "interceptor" sewers (up to 36 inches in diameter) that eventually dump into the plant "headworks" where the "raw influent" enters the treatment process.
The sanitary sewers maintained by DeKalb Sanitary District are distinct from and separate from the street sewers maintained by the City of DeKalb Street Department, which are generally much larger than sanitary sewers. While the street sewers open to the curbside collection of water run off, the sanitary sewers are sealed and connect only to house or building sewer service laterals.
Every effort is made by the City of DeKalb and DeKalb Sanitary District to keep street and ground water from entering the sanitary sewers, but leaks, cracks or illegally connected sump pumps or footing tiles can pour hundreds of gallons of water into the sanitary system when it rains. The smaller diameter of sanitary sewers means they cannot handle this rapid inflow, and backups result.
Whenever possible, gravity is used to move sanitary sewer water from place to place. Large sewer mains are placed very deep into the earth to allow the smaller mains to slant towards them, using gravity to assure that the water moves away from residences and businesses.
Occasionally the relative positions of housing or business units and the nearest sewer mains require lift stations to be installed. These installations have wells similar to the headworks wet well, but much smaller. Water moves by gravity into the lift station well, and is then pumped up to the level necessary to allow it to again move by gravity into the sewer main or interceptor sewer and be carried to the plant.
Constant staff supervision is necessary to watch for problems and prevent overflow. Each lift station connects to the main plant through a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System) and feeds data about its operating status so that prompt action can be taken to prevent trouble. Backup generators protect each lift station.
|Lift Station Name||Service Address|
|Meadow Trails||Red Wing Lane|
|Glidden||North Annie Glidden Road|
|Country Club||Buena Vista Drive|
|Lions Park||West Taylor Street|
|North First Street||North First Street|
|West Dresser||West Dresser Road|
Preliminary Treatment is aimed at removing large objects, coarse debris and inorganic material from the wastewater.
Large objects like clothing, soda cans, beer bottles, rags, sticks, feminine hygiene products, diapers, tree roots, large clumps of grease - all the things not meant to be flushed in the first place - are taken out of the wastewater by passing it through openings in parallel bars in machines called "bar screens."
The wastewater passes through openings in parallel bars while the debris (called screenings) gets caught on the bars and is removed by means of a mechanically operated rake that pushes the screenings onto a trough.
The screenings generated from the preliminary treatment are pressed to remove excess water and then bagged into a plastic tube. They are then put in a dumpster to be hauled off to a sanitary landfill for burial.
Next, the wastewater is put into a velocity controlled tank called a cyclone dewatering unit. A vortex mixer controls the velocity in the tank so that only the heavier particles settle out, removing glass, metal, sand and gravel particles, referred to as "grit."
The grit is then conveyed up an incline and placed in a dumpster for disposal in the sanitary landfill.
The lighter organic materials remain in the wastewater and move on to the next stage of treatment. Pumps move the wastewater, now strained of trash, sand, and gravel, on to Primary Treatment.
The goal of primary treatment is to physically remove the suspended solids from the wastewater. From 40 to 60 percent of the solids are removed from the wastewater stream as sludge and scum during the primary phase of treatment.
The wastewater is pumped into one of three primary "clarifiers." These are large round settling tanks. Here the water that has been flowing rapidly is slowed down.
Organic particles denser than water (sludge) sink to the bottom of the tank in a process called sedimentation. The "setteable solids" are collected and pumped to the digesters for further treatment.
Particles less dense than water (scum), grease and oil float to the surface in a process called floatation. Rotating arms scrape the surface of the water to collect the scum, which is also sent to the digesters for further treatment.
The water that is left is called the primary effluent. It flows by gravity to the next step in the process of its purification.
Secondary treatment uses biological processes in which aerobic microorganisms break down organic material in the remaining wastewater (after separation from grit and solids in preliminary and primary treatment). These microorganisms use organic pollutants as their food supply.
These processes can and do take place naturally in streams and rivers. In nature, wastewater moves over rocks, which are home to protozoa, fungi, bacteria and algae. The dissolved organic material in the wastewater is food to them. Each type of organism performs a different function in the cleaning of the water as it moves through the streambed.
Cities and urban areas produce too much wastewater for the organisms in a small body of water like the Kishwaukee River to handle. At the DeKalb Sanitary District plant, we create a larger community of microorganisms and provide them optimal conditions in which to do their work to mimic nature's process faster and more efficiently.
The wastewater treatment plant at 303 Hollister Avenue uses both an older Trickling Filter (installed circa 1950) and BioDisc Facility (installed 1980) and a newer Activated Sludge Facility (installed 1998) for accomplishing secondary biological treatment. The "secondary splitter" divides the wastewater flow between the two.
"Trickling Filters" do the same thing as the "trickling through rocks" process. The circular tanks contain rocks on which bacteria, protozoa and other organisms grow. The slimy coating of living organisms on the "media" (rocks, plastic, or other coarse material) doesn't have to be provided. It develops naturally. The wastewater is sprinkled onto the surface of the filter media from a rotating arm above the tank.
As the sewage is sprayed into the air, it absorbs the oxygen that the organisms need to do their work. The organisms use the oxygen to break down organic matter present in the water. That's why they are called "aerobic bacteria."
At the DeKalb plant, wastewater moves from the trickling filters into the biodiscs. The "bio discs" do the same thing as the Trickling Filters, except that huge discs on which the organisms grow rotate through the wastewater instead of the wastewater passing over them.
The organisms on the "rotating biological contactors" (RBC's) are somewhat different than those on the trickling filter beds, but they function in a similar manner. Bio Discs remove ammonia from the wastewater by bringing aerobic bacteria into contact with it and with oxygen.
In each of the stages above, the water is allowed to settle after the biological processes have been successful. The clarified wastewater moves on to the next process, leaving the beneficial organisms behind to treat another batch of wastewater.
By the time this stage of treatment has been completed up to 95% of the original pollutants will have been removed from the wastewater.
Activated sludge treatment can remove up to 90 percent of pollutants from wastewater in only one step, without going through the trickling filter, clarifier, biodisc, clarifier sequence required by the older plant setup.
The wastewater treatment plant at 303 Hollister Avenue uses both an older Trickling Filter (installed circa 1950) and BioDisc Facility (installed 1980) and a newer Activated Sludge Facility (installed 1998) for accomplishing secondary biological treatment. The "secondary splitter" divides the wastewater flow between the two.
The addition of this newer type of secondary treatment process to its plant, providing an alternate route for the wastewater to move through the cleanup process, increased the amount of sewer water that the DeKalb Sanitary District could treat, which was necessary because of the increase in the population.
In the Advanced Secondary Treatment section of the plant, wastewater is combined with bacteria that are kept in suspension with fine air bubbles in tanks called "aeration tanks." The mixture of nitrifying bacteria and air bubbles is called "Activated Sludge."
A mixed population of many different kinds of organisms (like those found in nature) use the organic materials in the wastewater as their main food supply. These "aerobic" bacteria need oxygen to do their work, and the rich supply of oxygen in the activated sludge facility makes them happier, healthier, and more efficient.
After the bacteria have consumed both organic matter and ammonia nitrogen, the result is carbon dioxide and a bigger population of bacteria. The mixture is separated in clarifiers. Then the wastewater moves on to the next process, while the activated sludge is returned to the head of the aeration tank to begin the feeding process again.
Before discharge, the treated wastewater moves through a final stage of treatment, which consists of Tertiary Treatment (filtering to remove fine particules) and Disinfection (chemical treatment to remove pathogens).
One of the ways water is purified in nature is by being filtered through the sand and fine gravel particles at the bottom of streams and rivers. Ground water is also purified by passing through layer after layer of sand, gravel and rock under the surface of the earth. As the water passes through these materials, fine particles are trapped and left behind.
Tertiary treatment consists of passing the wastewater through a bed of material with a rough surface to remove any fine solids that might still be in the water. The tanks in which this is done are called "sand filters."
A project to rehabilitate the tertiary filter building is under way at this time.
Next all the cleaned wastewater is fed into the "chlorine contact tank" in which sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is mixed with the water to disinfect it. This kills off any harmful organisms that may have escaped the treatment process.
Excess chlorine that might prove harmful to aquatic life is then removed from the water by treating it with sodium bisulfite. This leaves an effluent that can be safely discharged to the South Branch of the Kishwaukee River.
Before entering the river, effluent is collected for lab tests. Effluent quality is monitored constantly and it is stringently tested for harmful organisms, or unhealthy levels of any substance.
This testing is monitored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the directives of the Clean Water Act of 1972 and controlled via the District's National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit.
We are regulated as to the limits of total suspended solids, biological oxygen demand, fecal coliform, pH level, ammonia level, and other discharge parameters.
Treatment time has been about 10 to 13 hours for wastewater that was treated in the Trickling Filter/BioDisc facility and 6 hours for wastewater that was treated in the Activated Sludge facility.
The DeKalb Sanitary District plays an active role in the natural water reclamation cycle for the benefit of our users. Effluent quality is assured by samples taken and tested constantly with monthly reporting to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the guardian of Water Quality Standards for the State of Illinois.
DeKalb Sanitary District discharges treated water to the South Branch of the Kishwaukee River at 303 Hollister Avenue.
Under the auspices of the United States and Illinois Environmental Protection Agencies:
Ten to thirteen hours after entering the treatment plant at the headworks, treated water is discharged to the Kishwaukee.
DeKalb Sanitary District's treatment process removes many materials that damage water quality and threaten public health and safety. Some of these are:
The complex sequence of processes required to purify wastewater into components that can be safely recycled requires intensive monitoring and control by professionals using specialized equipment.
The SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System) monitors 400 data points at the treatment plant and graphically displays for the operator what is happening at each step along the way from the headworks to the outfall.
More than 130 alarms warn the operator of conditions that could indicate problems in the plant or the collection system.
Operators also perform plant walk-throughs and collection systems inspections during each of the three shifts to assure that wastewater collection and treatment proceeds safety and effectively.
DMRs (Daily Monitoring Reports) kept by Laboratory personnel document total flow, biological oxygen demand, total suspended solids, ammonia-nitrogen, pH, temperature, and amounts of numerous monitored substances in the plant and in the river. These are reported to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency monthly, and must fall within proscribed limits to avoid violations of the District's Permit.
The lab is also responsible for taking samples that are tested and summarized in quarterly reports on Influent, Effluent and Sludge which report on the monitoring of thirty elements, metals and other substances in addition to those above.
Yearly, the District submits measurements on more than one hundred metals and organic priority pollutants.
The amounts of each substance that the District is allowed to discharge is determined by formulas provided under the District's NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and enforced by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Throughout the treatment process, solids have been drawn off and separated from the wastewater. DeKalb Sanitary District is a Class One sludge management facility, monitored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that biosolids leaving the plant are safe and are put to appropriate uses.
All sludges from each of the sedimentation tanks combine with the raw sludges from the primary clarifiers and are pumped to primary digesters for sludge stabilization and dewatering. There they are heated and undergo an anaerobic-mesophylic digestion process. Pathogens and materials that attract insects are removed. Anaerobic bacteria digest the sludges into methane gas and water.
From the primary anaerobic digesters, the sludge is moved to the secondary anaerobic digesters. There the sludge is stabilized further. Its pH rises, methane is produced and water is removed. The resulting biosolids contain nutrients and organic humus.
The Biosolids Rehabilitation Project, completed 2012, rehabilitated four very old digesters which are responsible for anaerobically digesting the solids that remain after the treatment process has cleansed the water. A new digester operations building houses equipment to run these digesters. This project was completed by Williams Brothers Construction, Inc. of Peoria, Illinois who was the lowest of nine bidders at the July 31, 2009 bid opening with a bid of $18,640,000.00. Funds for this project came from a federal stimulus loan (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009) and an IEPA low interest loan.
Although the anaerobic digestion process reduces the bulk of the solids somewhat, the digesters eventually fill up with biosolids in a watery slurry. In the past, the District has paid a contractor to have this liquid removed by truck and taken to farm fields where it is spread as fertilizer. Sometimes, however, fields were not accessible or roads were posted when the digesters needed to be emptied. Because the digesters cannot be allowed to overflow, contractors would be found to bring in portable de-watering equipment on an emergency basis.
Equipment has been installed with which the District can de-water its own biosolids. Being able to do this on site will be more cost efficient, and will allow better control of the sludge digestion process. After dewatering, the biosolids take up much less volume and resemble loam. They are odorless except for an earthy smell. A building on the District's property South of I-88 and east of South First Street holds biosolids until they can be hauled away by a contractor to be spread on farm fields.
DeKalb Sanitary District crews carry out cross-flooding, televising of sewers and manhole inspections. Information obtained in these tests is used to determine what rehabilitation work needs to be done in upcoming Spot Repair and Sewer Lining projects.
DeKalb Sanitary District personnel drive red trucks bearing the District's name. Uniforms are not mandatory. You may see our collections personnel wearing orange and yellow reflective vests and jackets, or orange T-shirts bearing the District's name. Each employee carries a District identification badge.
Flow Monitoring studies are conducted by DeKalb Sanitary District collections system personnel. They place monitoring equipment in selected manholes to record the amount of wastewater moving past that point, its speed and how both of these measurements change during rainfall events.
Repair or replacement of sewer main or manholes may be conducted on an "as-needed" emergency basis. District crews or contractors will carry out these repairs.
Call the Sanitary District at 815 758-3513 if you have any questions about our people or our work.
The DeKalb Sanitary District and the City of DeKalb Engineering, Street and Water Department work together on a daily basis to coordinate their efforts for the good of the community as a whole.
As part of ongoing sanitary sewer improvement planning, DeKalb Sanitary District contracts each summer to repair manholes in streets that the City of DeKalb will be resurfacing.
We attempt to prevent having to excavate a street that was recently repaved by the City of DeKalb by scheduling our work on a street for the same time they are resurfacing it.
The City of DeKalb Directs These Projects
These repairs are performed by the City of DeKalb's contractors and the City is reimbursed for them by the DeKalb Sanitary District. Control of the projects lies with the City of DeKalb.
If you have questions about these projects, check with the City of DeKalb Department of Engineering at 815 748-2030.
City of DeKalb Street and Water Department crews and their contractors may be working on projects or repair jobs at any time. Much of their equipment is orange. If you have questions about their work in the streets, call
Sewer backups on a rainy day don't originate in the sewers. On a dry day in the heat of the summer, the public system works perfectly, no matter how many residents and students at Northern flush their toilets or take showers. The number of people who take showers and flush doesn't get any greater when it rains.
The 130 miles of sanitary sewer we took over in November of 1987 and now maintain came to us in very bad condition. The average age of all sanitary main in town is fifty years. Some of it is in surprisingly good shape. Much of it is not.
Water that should not be in the sanitary system enters it through cracks in the mains, improperly connected house service laterals, and something called "infiltration," in which water travels from where there's more of it (the ground during wet weather) to where there's less of it (the sanitary sewer) through osmosis.
As part of ongoing sanitary sewer improvement planning, DeKalb Sanitary District do testing to evaluate the condition of the sanitary sewers.
These kinds of tests are used:
DeKalb Sanitary District has aggressively been attacking intrusions of storm and groundwater into the sanitary collection system by
During any "normal" day, the flow rate of water coming to the District plant is under 7 million gallons per day. However this jumps drastically when it rains. During one recorded 2.25-inch rainfall, plant flow reached 40 million gallons per day, as the rain water leaked into the sewer main system from cross-connections with storm sewers and improperly connected or leaking house laterals.
The sanitary mains and the treatment plant weren't constructed to handle the vast amounts of water carried by the City of DeKalb storm sewer system when it rains. The sewage treatment plant process takes time and the capacity is limited. When the plant fills up and can hold no more water, the collection system itself becomes a holding tank for the excess rain water and sewer backups occur.
Finding and sealing the places where storm water leaks into the sanitary main system is crucial to reducing this impact.
Identifying and correcting these problems benefits everyone. Even if your own lateral system is properly separating sewer water from storm water (so that you are not creating your own backups during rain events), if a neighbor has illegal connections or leaking laterals, area sewers fill with water too quickly for it to be drained away by gravity. As water pours in, first the lowest house in the neighborhood and then the next becomes a holding tank for the neighborhood and experiences a backup of storm water mixed with sewage through the basement floor drain.
Doing Sewer System Evaluation Survey testing helps the City of DeKalb and the DeKalb Sanitary District find the leaks and fix them to keep storm water where it belongs when it rains.
Cross-flooding is done by introducing dye into the storm sewers. Then closed-circuit television is used to observe any impact on adjacent sanitary sewers. This simulates what happens during rain events.
When the storm water is released, the dyed water can be visible in the Kishwaukee. The dye utilized is not harmful to aquatic life, but has turned the river green during past tests.
There are over 3400 manholes in the DeKalb Sanitary District collection system. Manholes can collapse due to age, geological processes, or traffic. Manholes are inspected to identify those in need of repair and to assure that they are not blocked by debris of any kind.
Smoke Testing is a process in which non-toxic "smoke" is blown into the sanitary sewer mains and used as a visual tracer to help determine the condition of the sewer pipes. If, for example, smoke came out of a storm sewer catch basin, it would indicate a connection to the sanitary sewer, which is something we would want to correct.
If home plumbing connections are in good condition, no smoke should enter any building. Smoke testing crews do not need access to homes, and no change in water usage patterns is required.
If any fixtures or drains have not been used in a while, the water in the water seal traps may have evaporated. This condition would allow smoke to enter the home or business. To avoid annoyance and irritation, it is recommended that water be added to any such drains to avoid the possibility of trap malfunction.
The District adheres to City of DeKalb requirements for signage and blockades at cross-flooding sites. District personnel do block off areas of the streets for short periods of time while actively testing. Crews do not need access to homes, and no change in water usage patterns is required.
The DeKalb Sanitary District has been doing public sanitary sewer infrastructure renewal and rehabilitation each summer since 1988. (The year after we took over the collection system from the City of DeKalb.)
Only the home or business owner can prevent private sewer problems.
Deciding which part of town to start in was done by dividing the collection system into drainage areas and measuring the amount of extra water coming from each sector during rainstorms. That flow-monitoring told us where the biggest leaks probably were.
The DeKalb Sanitary District has rehabilitated sewer main by lining, with a project each summer. Public sewer main repair work in all 24 identified drainage areas has been completed. Approximately 40% of manholes were rehabilitated and 20% of sewer segments were internally lined or otherwise repaired or replaced. Even in areas already covered, new situations demanding attention are constantly coming to light. These are prioritized for work in the future.
We also have crews doing tests like dying, cross flooding, and smoke testing to find out what needs to be done in upcoming rehab projects. This process is called SSES for "Sewer System Evaluation Survey".
Efforts to "tighten-up" the system will continue into the foreseeable future with sewer lining and rehabilitation projects each summer, so you'll often see us in your neighborhoods.
DeKalb Sanitary District conducts ongoing flow monitoring to assess how effective our efforts have been.
For purposes of assessment, the collection system (all the sewer pipes and other infrastructure that carry wastewater from homes and businesses to the treatment plant at 303 Hollister) has been divided into drainage areas.
During flow-monitoring studies, equipment that measures the amount and rate of wastewater flow is placed into manholes at key points in each drainage basin. These monitors are left in place for some time, and the data collected is compared to rain water amounts over the same period.
This information is used to identify problem areas in need of work in the future and to assess the impact of repairs and lining done during past projects. Flow Monitoring is conducted by DeKalb Sanitary District Collections System Personnel.
Placement and removal of the monitors requires DSD collections system personnel to enter the manholes. Because of the risk that a person entering a manhole might be overcome by sewer gas or lack of oxygen, special harnesses and rigging are used to lower one person into the manhole while another stays above ground, ready to pull the other to safety if it becomes necessary.
Some temporary disruption of traffic may be necessary for short periods of time while the confined space entry equipment is in place. This is the only anticipated impact on residents resulting from flow monitoring.
Call the Sanitary District at 815 758-3513 if you have any questions about our people or our work.
Ground water infiltrates through defective joints, broken or cracked pipes, faulty connections and manhole sidewall seepage. As part of ongoing sanitary sewer improvement planning, DeKalb Sanitary District contracts each summer for a sanitary sewer reconstruction and rehabilitation project. Priorities for repairs to be done are set during review of the previous year's SSES inspection results. The repairs include:
Lining is the insertion of a special material inside the pipe to create a new watertight, smooth-surfaced, long-lasting pipe within the old sewer pipe.
Because the material used has to "cure," the reconstruction takes up to a 24-hour period to complete. During this time the sewer connection to your home or commercial establishment will be sealed off. If your sewer is directly affected, sewage from your home will remain in your service lateral and not be able to enter the public main. Because of this you may be asked refrain from doing laundry for 24 hours and to limit the use of your sink, shower and toilet facilities as much as possible.
Not all the residents of a given block will be asked to limit their water use just because lining is happening near them. The only homes that need to do so are those few homes directly served by the pipes being lined. If this applies to you, you will receive a notice (usually in the form of a door hangar) telling you when this needs to begin. The contractor will notify you at least 24 hours before water conservation needs to begin. If you receive no notice, no change in water usage patterns is necessary.
There is a chemical odor to the lining material used. Smell should be limited to the out of doors. You should not notice it inside your home unless your windows are open.
To make sure you re not bothered by odors inside your house, be sure to pour a cup or two of water into drain that is not regularly used. This keeps the "trap" full of water and working as it should to prevent sewer gas and odors from coming into your home.
The trap is meant to always be full of water. Its presence forces any gas into the vent stack so that it can be safely vented to the outside. Because the water evaporates when drains are not in use, they should be checked regularly and filled even when crews are not working in your neighborhood.
Rehabilitation work of this sort is called "spot repair," and locations are scattered. All or portions of a manhole might be replaced or realigned and resealed. A section of crushed or otherwise damaged sewer pipe might be dug up and replaced.
In most cases, the major impact will be on traffic. Our contractors are instructed to obey all City Ordinances in regard to safety and signage.
Please call the District at 815 758-3513 if you suffer or observe any problems.
It is possible that one or two residences that empty into a section of sewer pipe that is being replaced will be asked by the contractor to cease or limit water usage for a short period of time. There is no way to anticipate this, but the contractor has been instructed to give homeowners notice as soon as possible.
If you are not contacted and requested to do so, there is no need to change your water usage patterns.
In areas of the District where there are many trees and bushes over or near sewer easements, root intrusion into the sanitary sewer collection system can be a real problem. Complete or partial blockage of the private house service laterals cause headaches for homeowners. Intrusion into the public system causes blockages that can affect many residents. Each summer some of the mains in these areas are treated to kill intruding roots. Throughout the year District crews use a root-cutter to clear away the plant life that threatens to stop the wastewater flow.
Sewer water belongs in our system. Ground and rainwater don't. Inflow is the water entering the system from roof drains, open stairwell drains, strip or yard area drains and sump pumps hooked into the sanitary. Inflow has an immediate impact on the collection system, and is proportional to the amount of rainfall.
On May 19, 1998, 1.8 inches of rain fell in about two hours. Flow of wastewater to the DeKalb Sanitary District plant went from 7 million gallons at 4:30 P.M. to 32.1 million gallons at 5:37 P.M. This increase of 25.1 million gallons in about an hour was not brought about by toilets flushing, but by rainwater entering the sanitary collection system through illegal connections.
A jointly funded (DeKalb Sanitary District and the City of DeKalb) Illegal Connections Inspection Program was begun in 1988 to identify and correct illegal connections to the sanitary sewers from private properties. Between then and 1995, every house, commercial and industrial building was inspected. Foundation water sump pumps, roof drainage and area drains were inspected and dye-water traced (if necessary) to determine where they discharged. When sources of non-sanitary water were found to be tributary to the sanitary sewers, property owners were asked to disconnect the offending source.
This effort is ongoing. Several problems of this sort are discovered each year, usually when they create backups or flooding for the homeowner or neighbors. When discovered by either the City or the District, the home or property owner is required to correct the illegal connection within 90 days.
There are three kinds of illegal connections that have been found in DeKalb.
Ordinance No. 542 was passed on December 14, 2011 and publicized shortly thereafter, it was not seen on bills issued by the City of DeKalb until April 1, 2012 because the bill received reflects the past quarter's water use on which sewer charges are based.
The amount the District charges to treat 748 gallons of sewage (100 cubic feet) increased from $2.66 to $2.95. The $7.50 per quarter user charge has remained the same. For an average family using 30 units (3000 cubic feet or 22,440 gallons) per quarter, the increase equals $8.70 per quarterly billing. This equates to a monthly increase of $2.90 for the average home. See more about how the average is calculated below.
Reasons for the increase are:
We reevaluate our user rate in December of each year in a public meeting format. The minutes of the December 2011 Board of Trustees meeting at which the decision about the above rate increase was made are available for review. At that meeting, the Trustees decided to enact a rate increase much smaller than that recommended by consultants out of consideration for its users in a difficult economy.
We take rate increases seriously, and will continue to strive to improve service while keeping wastewater collection and disposal as economical as possible while meeting our environmental responsibilities.
The use of toilets, garbage disposals, showers, tubs, sinks and other organic waste drains for an "average" single family home are included in this estimate.
Note that the above calculations do not include the yearly taxes assessed by the DeKalb Sanitary District and collected by DeKalb County on behalf of the District.
Bills for users in the Sanitary District are issued by the City of DeKalb on behalf of the District.
Questions about billing can be directed to the City of DeKalb Billing Department at 815 748-2085.
The District spends the money it collects on the equipment that speeds the biological processes of restoration enough to handle the 4.5 to 6.0 Million Gallons of wastewater users send our way each and every day (1,250 billion gallons of wastewater in a year), as well as on the chemicals that help to ensure that the discharge to the Kishwaukee River is safe and clean.
The collection system (the pipes that deliver the wastewater from your homes and businesses to our plant) must also be constantly maintained, repaired and replaced to keep used sanitary water from escaping into the ground water system.
Questions about our user charges can be directed to DeKalb Sanitary District administrators at 815 758-3513.
For the tax year 2011 (collected in 2012), the District's tax rate multiplier was 0.111 per $100 of assessed valuation. A home assessed at $50,000 was taxed $55.50 for Sanitary District services provided during that year.
The consensus of the Board of Trustees has been that users should be billed according to how much sanitary service they require rather than according to the property they own. Most of the District's expenses are paid for by User Fees.
Taxes are collected for paying the District's share of FICA and other employee expenses and for funding what is called the "Public Benefit Fund." That is money that is used to complete projects that the Board feels are for the good of all the users of the District.
The taxing ordinance is on the agenda for the December Board meeting each year. Public Input is invited at that and all other meetings of the Board of Trustees.
Taxes for the Sanitary District are collected by DeKalb County as part of the County's yearly property tax bills. Each spring, bills are issued for taxes due on the preceding year. The DeKalb Sanitary District is a separate taxing body from the City of DeKalb or DeKalb County.
To assure that existing residents are not over-burdened by the cost of adding new property to the District, various charges are levied against new development.
In this option, the water meter that supplies the pool, spinkler, hose or other activities that do not require disposal to the sanitary sewer system is separate from the water meter that supplies water for household uses. No sewer charges are applied to this meter.
This solution is applicable in most new installations but may not be appropriate for an existing home service. The City charges a minimum service fee of $15.00 per quarterly billing cycle or a total of $60.00 per year.
Contact the City of DeKalb Water Department at 815 748-2050 for more information about this.
This program is administered by the DeKalb Sanitary District. It involves the installation of a meter by the homeowner or plumber according to DeKalb Sanitary District specifications. After an initial reading, the meter is read by District staff in the fall and the sewer charges that have been paid on water that did not enter the sanitary sewer are refunded by check once each December (with a subtraction of a $25 processing fee).
The home or business owner must purchase the specified meter from a plumbing supply business and pay for the City of DeKalb permit that is required as well as plumbing costs. An estimate of the costs would be about $400, but that would vary with the installation. It is typically easier to retrofit the plumbing on an existing home with one of these meters than with a second City meter.
Neither the City nor the District allow a “one-time” refund of sanitary charges. A resident can install a permanent secondary meter but there is no way to receive a credit for lawn watering or filling a pool unless a permanent secondary meter is installed to quantify the amount that did not enter the sanitary sewer. Note that the backwash from in-ground pools does enter the sanitary and is not subject to refunds.
The meter must be a Neptune T-10 meter (calibrated in cubic feet) with ProRead remote reading. The most common size is 5/8”x3/4”, but larger sizes are available. Within our area, these meters are available at: Ferguson Waterworks, 1720 East State Street, DeKalb (815-756-2800).
Estimated installation costs: A simple installation by a plumber would include the costs of the permit, a 5/8” meter at about $150 and 2 hours of work. Obviously everyone’s situation is unique. Costs will vary depending on the ease of and time required for the installation (a finished vs unfinished basement, for example), the number of outside faucets you wish to connect to the refund meter, size of meter, etc. etc.
The DeKalb Sanitary District cannot recommend plumbers. Call the City of DeKalb Department of Building and Community Services at 748-2070 for a list of plumbers registered to do this work in the City of DeKalb.
The following information may be useful in determining if it is worth your effort to participate in the refund program.
Charges for sewer service are distinct from City of DeKalb water charges. Those charges apply in any case.
The DeKalb Sanitary District charges a quarterly fixed-rate per account user charge of $7.50.
Sewer and water charges are billed by the unit. 1 unit = 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons. The sewer charge for 1 unit of water is currently $2.95.
Some lawn “experts” suggest that established lawns need one inch of water (rain, sprinkler or combination) per week in the summer. One square foot, one inch deep = 0.623 gallons. A 10,000 sq. ft. lawn watered 1 inch deep = 6,230 gallons. 6,230/748 = 8.33 units. 8.33 units x $2.95 = $24.57 per watering event (sewer charge).
An above ground, circular swimming pool, 20 feet in diameter with a 4 foot water depth holds 9,400 gallons or 12.56 units. 12.56 units x $2.95 = $37.05 in sewer charges to fill. Evaporation and filter backwash would require additional makeup water.
At the current $2.95/unit, you would need to use 8.47 units (about 6,339 gallons) to cover the annual $25.00 processing fee.
You can call us and wait to the call the plumber until you are sure the problem is a private one. Local plumbers often ask that you call the Sanitary District to rule out a public problem before they investigate a private one.
If you live in DeKalb Sanitary District and are experiencing a sewer backup, please contact the DeKalb Sanitary District before you call your plumber.
The District will check (at no cost to you) the public sewer to make sure the public system is not creating your problem .
If your problem persists after the District informs you that the public system was inspected, cleaned or found to be operating properly, you may then wish to call your plumber to check your private service lateral.
The sewer pipe (usually 4" or 6") between a building and the public sewer, commonly referred to as the "building sewer" or "service lateral," is the property and responsibility of the building owner.
Problems in private laterals can be caused by:
The Sanitary District is responsible for the public sanitary sewer system. In most cases, the sewer main runs down the middle of the street in front of the residence or business, although there are exceptions to this in the older parts of town.
Because of the larger size of sewer mains, they do not become blocked as often as the private laterals, but if they become blocked, they prevent private laterals from emptying.
You'll see us around town doing preventative flushing of main sewer lines to forestall some of these problems. But we can't always know about backups and slow downs until you call us.
Since taking over the responsibility for the "Collection System" (public mains) from the City of DeKalb in 1987, the DeKalb Sanitary District has been working to reduce the number of problems that are caused by the public system.
Each year, District crews televise and test sewers to identify those most in need of repair or replacement. After evaluation, projects for lining, spot repairs, root foaming and sewer replacement are developed and put out for bids each spring with work taking place every summer.
The District can be reached at 758-3513. Someone is available at the plant 24 hours a day. If you are unable to reach anyone at 815 758-3513, you can call 815 762-1933.
Property owners should check for and secure any open plumbing waste lines they may have before a problem occurs.
Sewer gas could be flammable, displace oxygen or contain toxic materials that should not be inhaled and could be a serious threat to life and health.
Wastewaters contain small concentrations of dissolved gases. Some of these are carbon dioxide resulting from the decomposition of organic matter, nitrogen dissolved from the atmosphere, dissolved oxygen and hydrogen sulfide.
Hydrogen sulfide gas is toxic. It is heavier than air and will collect in low places. Hydrogen sulfide is responsible for the rotten-egg odor of wastewaters. Only a small amount is enough to cause an odor.
Residential plumbing systems have traps. These are curved pipes that collect water. They prevent odors from backing up into the house because the water in the trap acts as an airtight seal that blocks out the odor.
These are all potentially dangerous situations that should be corrected by a qualified plumber at once. They constitute a harmful vapor hazard in the home.
Water should be added regularly to plumbing fixtures, especially any seldom-used sinks, toilets or floor drains that may have dried out. If any fixtures have not been used in a while, the water in the water-seal traps may have evaporated. That could allow sewer gas and odors to enter your home or business.
If all the traps are full of water and there is still an odor, the problem could be in the vent that carries sewer gas out of the house and lets it exit through a vent in the roof. Vents that have become plugged by leaves or a bird's nest create a potentially serious problem because if the sewer gas cannot escape, it will back up into the home or business. Problems in vents are best handled by a plumber.
Although hydrogen sulfide in even very small quantities smells like rotten eggs, methane and carbon monoxide are odorless. Symptoms of exposure include drowsiness, headache, nausea and dizziness. If you experience symptoms, leave the building and call 911 from outside..
You can report sewer gas odors at any time by calling the Sanitary District at 815 758-3513. While there is an operator on duty at all times, if you are unable to reach the plant at this number, call the non-emergency number of the City of DeKalb Police (815 748-8400) and they will contact us. If the odor is strong, evacuate the building before making the call. Better safe than sorry.
We are responsible for sanitary sewers and the City of DeKalb Public Works - Street Department is responsible for street sewers. Both of them have manhole covers that at times become loose.
if you know which is which. Otherwise, call either of us and we'll work together to get the problem corrected.
Although it may seem like fun, opening manhole covers is dangerous business. It creates a hazard for pedestrians and an attractive nuisance for small children and pets.It is unsafe for anyone not properly equipped, trained and monitored to enter any manhole. Accumulations of gases can cause asphyxiation in an instant. There is no warning.
If you find an open manhole cover, report it immediately so that we can barricade the potentially dangerous area.
Never open sewers to let water escape a flooded street.
If you open a sanitary sewer, you run a great risk of causing a sewage backup in your own and your neighbor's homes or businesses.
Call the City of DeKalb Street Department at 815 748-2040 about street or ground water flooding.
Authorized access is limited to:
DeKalb Sanitary District personnel always drive RED District vehicles which are clearly marked.
City of DeKalb personnel may also open manholes, and their ORANGE vehicles also are well-identified.
Contractors may also legally access manholes. See the DeKalb Sanitary District web site or call 815 758-3513 for the names of contractors authorized to open manholes. Call the City of DeKalb Street Department office at 815 748-2040 about their contractors.
Call the DeKalb Sanitary District at 815 758-3513 if you see any unauthorized persons accessing manholes.
Unauthorized discharge to public systems does occur throughout the United States by individuals willing to take the risk for financial gain. Individuals who don't mind endangering the health of their community pry open manholes and dump refuse and chemicals into them to avoid the cost of authorized disposal. While there are substantial penalties for individuals caught doing this, some will always try. We ask the community to help us by reporting suspicious activity around manholes.
Illegal dumping disrupts the wastewater treatment plant. The introduction of toxic substances can have a significant impact on our biological treatment processes by killing off populations of the bacteria we utilize in removing the organic pollutants commonly found in wastewater.
Sometimes it is hard to tell whether a manhole is a storm or a sanitary manhole. DeKalb Sanitary District does not use manhole covers that say "sanitary" on them, although some older installations remain that are so marked. Whether illegal dumping is done into the sanitary or the storm manhole, it costs the taxpayer money for cleanup, creates a greater potential for basement backup, and endangers the neighborhood health. Call the DeKalb Sanitary District at 815 758-3513 day or night if you see anyone dumping anything into any manhole or opening any manhole (unless driving a clearly marked City of DeKalb (orange) or DeKalb Sanitary District (red) vehicle. We will work together with the City of DeKalb Street Department to investigate the situation.
If you observe suspicious dumping, please do not approach the person doing the dumping. Just call us and tell us what you have seen. A description of the vehicle and a license plate number would be very helpful in our subsequent investigation of this local, state and federal criminal activity. You need not give your name.
The pipe connecting a business or residence to the public sewer main is called a "private service lateral" or a "house service lateral." It is owned by and is the responsibility of the property owner.
The length of your private house service sewer lateral can vary according to where on the lot your house sits and where the sewer main is. You own the entire pipe before the connection to the public main, however long a distance that is. That means that you probably do own sewer lateral that passes under the pavement on its way to the main.
Since 1987 the District has required developers to supply "as-builts" that show where service laterals were installed. However for installations before that time or private installations any time, there is no public record of the work done on private property. We don't know where the private service runs, how long it is, or of what material it was constructed.
Observations such as looking for pipe exiting your basement or crawl space can be helpful. We can give "educated guesses" of where the public service that probably services your home or residence is. However, the only sure way to know is to hire an experienced plumber to explore this for you.
We urge you to call the DeKalb Sanitary District at 758-3513 first whenever you experience a slow-down or stoppage of your sewer lines. We will send out our crews to check the public sanitary sewers servicing your area to be sure that they are flowing as they should. If not, we will correct that situation and probably relieve your problem as well.
But in many cases, the public main will be "running fine," and demonstrating a free flow of water, indicating that the blockage is in your private line and is preventing your waste from reaching the public sewer main.
The only remedy is rodding out the service yourself or calling a plumber or sewer rodding company to do it. This job is messy and costly, and is best avoided by not flushing anything but sanitary waste.
Private service laterals are usually only 4 inches or 6 inches in diameter. They are intended for the passage of water and soluble waste.
Trying to flush disposal diapers, clothing, dirt, gravel, plants, foodstuffs, foils, plastics, or other items that do not quickly dissolve in water will block the sewer lateral leaving your home or business. Your sewage will quickly fill up the distance between the blockage and your residence, and you will find sewage backing up into your basement, bathtub, toilet, or whichever is the lowest point connected to the sewer service lateral.
Even today's "flushable" wipes and sanitary products can block your service lateral if too many are flushed at once or if a clog of partially dissolved material obstructs the flow of water out of your residence or business. Whether you risk flushing such objects instead of disposing of them in other ways depends on how willing you are to pay a plumber or sewer rodder to remove the obstruction if they become caught.
Potentially hazardous substances include:
More information is available from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency at 217 785-8604.
Call the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's Waste Reduction Unit at 217 785-8604 for information on Hazardous Waste Collections throughout the state.
Long-Term Facilities for Disposal of Household Hazardous Wastes as listed by the IEPA:
Grease is also a frequent cause of blocked pipes. While hot water may cause it to "melt," it quickly reforms into a solid plug that prevents the flow and causes backups.
Grease that is liquid when you pour it into the drain from your frying pan quickly becomes a stiff, sticky, and insoluble lump inside the pipe. Grease should never be flushed or put down sink or toilet drains.
Many problems with blocking or even collapsing of house or business service laterals is caused by tree roots reaching for water that grow into and through the pipes, blocking or crushing them. Removing trees that grown over the path of the service lateral can go a long way in preventing problems.
A clump of roots that even patially obscures the service lateral can be the beginning of a clog when toilet paper or wipes that would otherwise slip through the pipe freely get caught up in the roots and grow into a solid mass. The first sign of such a problem is a sewer pipe that won't drain properly when clothes washers drain or dish washers empty. While smaller amounts of water still trickle through the mass, an onrush of more water at once is stopped and "bounces" back into the house or business.
In some instances, lateral pipe is crumbling due to age or substandard construction materials. Thinking ahead and having the situation evaluated and assessed by a plumber can make it possible to replace private lateral pipe before it causes problems.
The DeKalb Sanitary District budgets $15,000 each fiscal year to be spent on a 50/50 basis with the City of DeKalb for grants and loans to homeowners who need financial assistance to make necessary sewer lateral repairs.
It is necessary to make application to this program before the work is done.
Grants and loans are administered on the basis of financial need.Jamie Smirz
Local standards govern material specifications, installation and quality assurance testing requirements for any sanitary sewers that will be tributary to the District's wastewater collection and treatment systems.
Call 815 758-3513 to get a copy of DSD Standard Notes and Details.
The District takes an active role before, during, and after the installation of new infrastructure in its facilities planning area. An initial consultation is without cost. Further plan review fees as established by Ordinance #496 (passed March 15, 2006) are assessed based on the size and complexity of the project.
The Sanitary District's responsibility is to see that expansion does not negatively impact on either the collection system or the treatment plant so as to threaten the area's water quality.
"P.E." refers to "population equivalent." One P.E. equals 100 gallons per day of water usage per person. Proposed new development is assessed on the basis of its proposed P.E. contribution to the sewer flow demands in the area. An Efficiency or Studio Apartment has a P.E. of 1, a one-bedroom Apartment is 1.5, a two or three-bedroom apartment is 3 and a private home is 3.5. A mobile home has a P.E. of 2.25.
Any new construction of sufficient P.E. requires Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Construction and Operation Permits. Part of the application process is the DeKalb Sanitary District's input about its ability to handle the increased flow.
If an area already has as much population as the collection system and the treatment plant can handle, the DeKalb Sanitary District cannot approve the IEPA Construction Permit Application.
To prevent inflow and infiltration problems tomorrow, the DeKalb Sanitary District maintains strict specifications and standards for the construction of all new private and public sanitary sewers.
Quality of installations is also monitored by the District. Infrastructure that will endure and that will not create problems for local homeowners in the future is the goal. Plans must be submitted to and approved by the District before the granting of City of DeKalb building permits. The District offers the developer review comments throughout the design process to help them meet quality requirements.
During the construction phase, DeKalb Sanitary District personnel perform quality assurance testing of all new sewers to assure system integrity before allowing occupancy permits to be issued. "As-builts" are required at the completion of each project so that the location and details of all new infrastructure can be recorded in the mapping systems maintained jointly by the District and the City of DeKalb.
If a sewer pipe no longer in use is sealed off, it becomes a source of ground water inflow into the sanitary system and increases the likelihood of sewer backups in the residences and businesses near it.
As part of any building demolition project, where the building discharged sanitary wastewater to the Sanitary District, the lateral or laterals must be located, marked and temporarily or permanently capped in a watertight manner.
If you are abandoning sewer laterals, call the District at 815 758-3513 for specifications on what to do and to schedule an inspection.
District regulations allow the re-use of existing sewer laterals if they are found to be sound and in an acceptable condition.
Call the District at 815 758-3513 to schedule an inspection to assess the potential for re-use.
The Sanitary District will investigate each lateral and determine its integrity with a miniature television camera inspection. Its structural condition will be assessed by noting things like evidence of leakage (past or present), root intrusion, cracks or other infirmities anywhere along the lateral, up to and including the point of attachment to the public main.
Depending upon the condition of the sewer lateral, the District will instruct the property owner on how it may be reused or abandoned.
District and County Health Department regulations require that a septic tank scheduled for abandonment be cleaned of sludge, the bottom perforated so as to permit adequate drainage and the tank then filled with gravel, sand or compacted dirt.
In 2007 the District completed and implemented its most recent Facility Plan. The plan is a “blueprint” for orchestrating DeKalb’s wastewater conveyance, treatment and water pollution control needs for the next 20 years. The rehabilitation, replacement and expansion of sewers and wastewater treatment facilities is a very expensive and time consuming effort. Because of this, the District has elected a phased approach for the Facility Plan’s capital improvements. What needs to be done and when we do it is determined primarily by facility age and antiquity, state and federal pollution control regulations and facility expansions to accommodate community growth.
Each new residential or commercial development adds to the load on the treatment plant which has a finite capacity to treat sewage. When the amount of wastewater flowing into the plant exceeds its design capacity, the plant must be expanded. As developments on the edges of the District's boundaries apply for annexation to the District and expand those boundaries, sanitary infrastructure must be expanded and enlarged.
Because of its responsibility to the future, the current Board of Trustees collects funds and sets them aside for future plant expansion needs. The money collected from connection fees is set aside to be used in expansion of the treatment plant. Annexation fees are applied towards the cost of expanding the collection infrastructure into new areas.
The DeKalb Sanitary District takes care to insure that new sanitary sewer infrastructure is of a type and quality that will serve the citizens of the District well in the future.
Meet with Mark Eddington, P.E., District Manager early in your project planning. Understanding DeKalb Sanitary District and Environmental Protection Agency procedures, rules and regulations will help avoid delays in your project schedule.
The District reviews all plans associated with each project. Plan review fees as established by Ordinance #496 (passed March 15, 2006) are assessed based on the size and complexity of the project.
DeKalb Sanitary District's Standard Notes and Details (all 5 sheets) are to be attached to your plans verbatim.
District Notes and Details are in addition to “Standard Specifications For Water and Sewer Main Construction in Illinois” and “Illinois Design Standards For Sewage Works.”
District Notes and Details, as well as the state specifications, will govern acceptable materials and quality assurance testing and inspections.
Only properties within the boundaries of the DeKalb Sanitary District can be serviced by it. Petitions for annexation to the District are approved or denied by the Board of Trustees. If approved, annexation is accomplished by payment of the necessary fees and the passage of an annexation ordinance at a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees.
Upon submission of formal plans (beyond concept drawings and an initial meeting), a minimum non-refundable administration fee of $1,000.00 is due. The final administration fee (payable at IEPA permit processing) will be 1% of the/your engineer’s estimate for the sanitary portion of the project (minus the initial $1,000.00). The owner/developer will also be required to pay for any retained personnel expenses and/or out of pocket expenses incurred by the District (these expenses include but are not limited to costs and fees for legal and engineering services, planners and/or other experts retained by the District, publication costs, rental of meeting facilities, over-time for staff, etc.). All outstanding or additional fees owed the District are to be paid in full prior to any sewer activation.
If Illinois Law requires an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Sewer Construction Permit for your project, and provided all annexation, plat and/or easement issues have been completed and are acceptable to the District, and upon submission of two District-approved “FINAL” or “ISSUED FOR CONSTRUCTION” plan sets and at least three (original signatures) IEPA Construction Permit Applications (with appropriate schedules), the District will approve and “sign-off” on the IEPA applications. Note that your final administration/inspection fee is due at this juncture.
The DeKalb Sanitary District Connection Fee is currently $400 per Population Equivalent (P.E.). One P.E. = 100 gallons per day of water usage. The Connection Fees are due and payable to DeKalb Sanitary District immediately prior to submission of your Building Permit application to the City of DeKalb. The District must sign off on your application prior to City acceptance.
The District has established a fee schedule for residential construction. However commercial and industrial connection fees are established on type of business, number of employees and customers, process water consumption, water usage at similar installations, etc. etc.PLEASE CONTACT THE DEKALB SANITARY DISTRICT TO DISCUSS THE DETERMINATION OF YOUR CONNECTION FEE.
Please be aware that Quality Assurance (QA) inspections and tests are required for your project. Presumably, your contractor will perform the QA testing work or subcontract it to a company that performs these services. Your contractor must initiate discourse with us as to his schedule and readiness for inspections and/or test observation. After contact by the contractor, the District will schedule inspectors to perform QA inspections and/or observe QA testing. The contractor should provide us with at least 24 hours notice so we can effectively schedule our manpower.
The developer shall supply the District with two sets of record drawings, one set is to be a Mylar copy and one set is to be a blueline or "Xerox" copy. The record drawings shall indicate any changes from original plans. The record drawings shall include the following: 1) the rim and invert elevations (USGS/MSL datum). 2) the % grade, size, pipe material and distance from manhole to manhole. 3) the distance from a defined manhole to each service wye or tee and the location of laterals at property lines (measured from lot line pins). 4) size & material service laterals are made of. Record drawings are to be labeled "record drawings", and dated and signed by an engineer licensed in the State of Illinois.
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board requires government agencies to list their infrastructure assets. If your development's sanitary infrastructure is going to be dedicated and accepted by the DeKalb Sanitary District as public system, the costs associated with the installation of the sanitary system are to be provided to the Sanitary District. Copies of contracts or project lien waivers that include all sanitary installation costs will be acceptable. Please note that many infrastructure contracts also include water main and storm sewer installations. The District is only concerned with the sanitary infrastructure costs. Therefore the costs may need to be broken-out or the contract formulated to reflect individual costs for sanitary, storm and water main.
To achieve an “acceptance for service” status for your sewer project, any deficiencies must be corrected prior to a final inspection by the District. Any outstanding fees and/or required project documentation must be received by and found to be acceptable by the District.
Prior to project completion the sanitary sewers in the development may be isolated from the District's active (live) sanitary sewer system. A written request from the developer stating that all requirements have been met, and petitioning the District to make sewer available for use must be submitted.
Activation (making the sewer available for use) will not occur until all requirements have been successfully resolved and completed.
Annexation fees are charged on new property being brought into the DeKalb Sanitary District. The annexation fee does not apply to current users. Petitions for annexation are approved or denied by the Board of Trustees. If approved, annexation is accomplished by the passage of an annexation ordinance at a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees.
The owner of property that is contiguous with District property may petition the Board of Trustees for permission to annex to the District and receive its services. In some situations pre-annexation agreements to allow service to a property that lies close to but not contiguous with District boundaries are also possible.
The fee for annexation is $3,000 per acre.
Contact Mark Eddington P.E., District Manager at 815 758-3513 for more information about annexation and pre-annexation requirements and procedures.
The Connection Fee Charged is Proportional to Increased Demand on the Collection and Wastewater Treatment System
A connection fee for each new hookup to the sanitary system was established with the passage of Ordinance 464 on November 20, 2002 and adjusted by Ordinance No. 532 passed on July 21, 2010. Connection fees are specifically dedicated to support the capital costs associated with the service area’s need for additional wastewater treatment works due to new construction.
A connection fee in the amount of $400.00 per Population Equivalent is payable directly to the District by anyone desiring to connect to any sanitary sewer within the District or otherwise served by the District.
One Population Equivalent (P.E.) is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as 100 gallons of wastewater per person per day.
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s TITLE 35: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, SUBTITLE C: WATER POLLUTION, CHAPTER II: Part 370, as well as Section 370 Appendix A, Table No. 1 present these Resident Occupancy Criteria.
Water pollution makes waters unsafe for drinking, fishing, swimming, and other activities. The Clean Water Act prohibits anybody from discharging pollutants into the waters of the United States unless they have an NPDES (NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM PERMIT PROGRAM) permit.
Substances regulated as pollutants under the Clean Water Act include:
The DeKalb Sanitary District has an NPDES permit that regulates the treatment plant's discharge to the Kishwaukee. The DeKalb Sanitary District empties into the water of the south branch of the Kishwaukee River. Since this is a very small body of water, limits are stringent.
Through the Local Limits program, DSD regulates discharges that enter the collection system so that the treatment plant's NPDES Permit Limits can be met. It administers monitoring and permitting system for significant contributors of regulated substances.
DeKalb Sanitary District provides monitoring under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act for a number of "Significant Industrial Users" who by virtue of the amount or type of pollutants they might produce require regular testing to prove the safety of their discharge as a condition of their permit to discharge to the DeKalb Sanitary District.
If local industries meet the criteria established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, the District samples and tests their effluent to ensure that local and federal discharge limits for potentially harmful substances are not exceeded.
Some of these industries are required to do "pretreatment" to reduce the amounts of identified substances in their wastewater before discharging it.
Call Mark Eddington, P.E., District Manager at 815 758-3513.
As of a July 19, 2006 amendment to Ordinance #387, the use of manhole style grease interceptors has been disallowed in new restaurants. A large vault style interceptor is the minimum District standard.
Anyone involved in the remodeling or construction of a restaurant of any size should contact Mark Eddington, P.E., District Manager at the DeKalb Sanitary District for an appointment to discuss grease trap specifications. Call 815 758-3513 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
DeKalb Sanitary District collections system personnel often receive customer or neighbor reports of grease spills or are called out to check sewer mains that are backed up only to discover the sewer lines are blocked by grease from nearby restaurants.
The facility responsible for such blockages is liable for the costs to clean and clear the sewer line and possibly for any costs for damage done to adjoining properties, as well as for fines up to $1000.00 per day for violation of local ordinances.
Regulations may also require the installation of a larger, more efficient grease trap. It is even possible that the offender might be disconnected from sewer service to halt or prevent a discharge that presents an imminent endangerment to the health or welfare of the population.
Never pour used grease, fats and oils down the sink drain. Adding hot water, detergent, or even commercial degreasers*** does not help. Grease that is liquefied will still become solid again when it enters the public system.
***The use of additives (chemical or biological) or hot water to emulsify grease and allow it to pass through a grease trap circumvents the purpose of the trap and is therefore not acceptable.
It is highly recommended that an external storage bin be used to collect fats, oils and grease generated in the preparation of food. This grease can then be hauled away by a scavenger company for proper disposal. F.O.G. should be deposited in these grease bins and not dumped down a sanitary sewer where it will congeal and plug up the sewer line.
DeKalb Sanitary District staff make unscheduled random visits to food service license holders to:
While existing retaurants and food service establishments are allowed to use interior or the smaller type of exterior grease trap that was legal at the time of their construction as long as they do not contribute grease to the sanitary sewer lines, it is recommended that they "upgrade" to the current specifications. Problems with grease clogging sewer lines in their vicinity or discovery, upon inspection, of improperly maintained grease traps will result in a mandate to install the required type.
If you have any questions regarding these very important issues, please call the DeKalb Sanitary District at 815 758-3513.
Authorized dumping is only allowed at the treatment plant, never to manholes.
Residents of the District may dump the toilets of their personal, non-commercially used recreational vehicles without charge at the District at 303 Hollister Avenue between the hours of 7 AM and 3 PM on weekdays.
If you have never dumped your recreational vehicle here before, please stop at the administration office for directions on how and where to do this.
Properly registered septic haulers are permitted for fee dumping (3 cents per gallon at this time) of limited amounts of normal strength residential sewage at the District under regulated and tested conditions.
To protect our delicate ecosystem, septic haulers must obtain permission and an appointment to dump each time they wish to do so, and amounts allowed each day are limited to a total of 3000 gallons from all sources. The hauler must document where and when the wastewater was received, and leave a sample for testing. The truck and hauler's license number and the driver's name are also documented at each visit.
To have credentials reviewed in preparation for making an application to dump septic system wastewater at the plant, call the District at 815 758-3513 and ask to have a packet of application materials mailed to you.
The following documentation, at a minimum, will be necessary to have your septic hauler application reviewed for acceptance:
You will not be allowed to dump until the application has been reviewed and approved by Mark Eddington, P.E., District Manager.
Before digging (even in your own yard), make sure that no sewer main or other utilities cross the path of your excavation. Call JULIE for locating of electric, phone, cable and other utilities. It is now possible to reach JULIE by dialing just the three numbers 811 or you can use the toll-free telephone number, which is 800 892-0123.
Each JULIE member is responsible to mark their own underground facilities with paint or flags within the two (2) working day period required by law (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).
To prevent damage to the public sewer mains that could cause disruption of service to many homeowners, the DeKalb Sanitary District participates in the JULIE program and marks sewer main whenever there is any possibility that excavators will hit it. The flag color for sewer is green.
District staff respond promptly to JULIE locate requests by:
Even if no public sewer main crosses your property, remember that your home or business does have a private sewer lateral which you own and which connects your property to the public main.
If there is no public infrastructure in your yard, your digging presents no threat to the public utilities, and we will not have to flag before you dig. However, you could still seriously inconvenience yourself by slicing into your private sewer lateral with a shovel or puncturing it with a fence post.
Investigate yourself by looking for the location of plumbing leaving your building and identifying its probable path to the main. You can also ask for a plumber's educated opinion of where your private sewer pipe (house lateral) is located.
While digging, watch what you're doing and stop if you see signs of any buried infrastructure.
Especially in the older areas of town, locations of private building laterals were never recorded. They may connect to the "logical" and nearest sewer public pipe so that you can figure out where they must be. But they may have been installed before the nearest public sewer and their placement not "make sense" today. Years ago when some of these pipes were laid, your neighborhood may have looked much different than it does today.
Today, the DeKalb Sanitary District requires "as-built" drawings from every new development so as to be better able to answer home and business owner's questions in the future.
JULIE, Inc. (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) provides homeowners and professional excavators with one place to call for safe digging. JULIE serves as a message handling notification service for underground facility owners, taking information about planned excavations and distributing this information to its membership. It is then the responsibility of each facility owner to mark the location of their underground facilities at the excavation site. Each kind of underground facility owner has an assigned color for flags and/or paint to mark the location of its lines.
To learn more about the JULIE organization, visit their website. The address is http://www.illinois1call.com/.