Street Sewer or Sanitary Sewer?
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.
Dangers of Open Manholes
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.
Opening Manhole Covers is Prohibited
If you find an open manhole cover, report it immediately so that we can barricade the potentially dangerous area.
In Case of Street Flooding
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.
Report Unauthorized Access
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.
Make an Anonymous Report
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.