CHICAGO – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 has recently cited the West Chicago, Ill., wastewater treatment plant for exceeding the limits of its wastewater treatment permit and inadequately monitoring wastewater discharged to the plant from industries.
Industrial users include Electronic Support Systems, L.P.; Mapei Corp.; Northwestern Flavors, Inc.; Wincup; General Mills Operations, Inc.; Vlasic Farms, Inc. (formerly known as Campbell’s Fresh, Inc.); Alumax Extrustions Inc.; Advanced Electronics, Inc.; Masonite Corp.; and Viktron West Chicago, L.P.
The plant is permitted to accept wastewater from industrial plants, but is required to issue permits to each of the dischargers, inspect each discharger’s wastewater pretreatment system, and monitor and enforce permit limits. EPA alleges that West Chicago did not adequately carry out these requirements and, in addition, failed to investigate cases of noncompliance by dischargers.
EPA also alleges that the municipal plant violated its permit limits, from March 1993 through March 1998, by discharging excess amounts of pollutants to the West Branch of the DuPage River including oxygen-demanding pollutants, total suspended solids, ammonia-nitrogen, fecal coliform bacteria, copper, and chlorine.
EPA has also cited:
— Vlasic Farms, Inc., for discharging excess amounts of chlorides, cyanide, total dissolved solids, phosphorus and sulfate to the municipal plant;
— Alumax Extrustions for discharging excess amounts of chromium, hexavalent chromium, zinc, and oil and grease to the municipal plant; and
— Advanced Electronics for discharging excess amounts of fluoride, cyanide, lead, and copper and not maintaining the required pH (acidity-alkalinity) balance of its wastewater.
Indirect dischargers are regulated by pretreatment standards that set limits on what can be discharged into publicly owned treatment plants. These standards aim to control excessive industrial waste. Such waste, if not controlled, could interfere with the operation of the West Chicago sewage treatment plant.
SOURCE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
CONTACT: Technical, John McGuire, 312-353-2704, or Media, Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218, both of the U.S. EPA