The sewage treatment plant at Marseilles is receiving two new upgrades to deal with potential flooding.
Wastewater Superintendent Jason Rix says the first of these is a floodwall providing five extra feet of clearance, which is still above the highest recorded level for floodwaters in 500 years.
“We are putting in a roughly 1200 linear foot wall essentially, made of corrugated steel, and it will protect us from any flooding from the Illinois River," he said.
This comes after two near-floodings in 2008 and 2013 when the plant was saved by judicious use of sandbags.
Rix says the plant also needs pumps to carry away treated water when it can’t be removed by gravity.
“We’re gonna put in, it’ll be two pumps to pump our effluent and any storm water that would leach in through the levee because of the pressure on the existing levee from the river," he said.
Rix says the project is “shovel-ready" and funded by $1.2 million in FEMA money. He expects the pumps and floodwall to be installed by August of next year.