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.
SCADA Operations Supervision
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.
Direct Operations Supervision
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.