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Gov. Pritzker Announces $21 Million in Funding for Infrastructure Projects in Cahokia Heights

Press Release - Wednesday, August 03, 2022

$9.9 million grant for wastewater improvements will increase collection efficiency, preventing flood water from entering the sewer collection system

SPRINGFIELD — Governor JB Pritzker along with local officials, stakeholders, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced $21 million in funding to the City of Cahokia Heights to support infrastructure projects in the area. The funding, made available through Gov. Pritzker's historic Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, will include rehabilitation of lift stations and improvements to the sewer collection system.

"No community should have to go without clean drinking water and functional waste infrastructure, and our Rebuild Illinois capital plan is investing across the state to correct those inequities," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Today, I'm proud to announce more than $21 million in state funding that will bring 21st century wastewater infrastructure to the Cahokia Heights community. This new investment will upgrade the existing wastewater collection system and prevent the sewage flooding that has become notorious for area residents. True justice and true fairness mean a safe home, clean streets, clean water and clean air. It involves providing solutions that work for all our communities. This grant is another step toward justice for the Cahokia Heights community."

The funding announced today includes a $9.9 million investment in rehabilitation or replacement for approximately 35 lift stations, 5,800 feet of cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) liner (including 1,500 feet of sewer line repair), and 3,500 feet of slip lining for the City's main trunk line.

Lift stations are used in sewer collection systems throughout the country to move wastewater from lower to higher elevations, particularly where the elevation of the source is not sufficient for gravity flow. The rehabilitation requirements of lift stations in Cahokia Heights range from minor repairs, such as control panel repairs, to extensive rehabilitation or full replacement of pumps and structural components.

Slip lining and CIPP liner are trenchless methods to repair leaks or restore the structural stability to an existing pipeline, such as a sewer line. The slip lining improvements made are expected to last between 35 and 50 years.

The City will also use this grant funding to modify the wastewater collection system, where many components of the system have exceeded their useful design life. These updates will improve collection efficiency, reliability, and ease of operation and maintenance, helping to prevent flood water from entering the sewer collection system during storm events and relieving stress on the system.

The Illinois EPA will work closely with City officials to ensure the grants funds are used to address existing, chronic problems within the collection system to bring relief to residents and businesses. As part of the grant agreement, the City will provide regular updates to the community, including a webpage and regularly scheduled meetings, held by the City, to keep all interested parties informed.

"For years, I've worked to help this community update its dangerous and dilapidated water infrastructure, and I'm glad Cahokia Heights is finally receiving more of the resources they deserve," said Senator Tammy Duckworth. "While this announcement will go a long way toward delivering clean and safe water and wastewater systems, I know we must do much more for these hardworking Illinoisans, and I will keep working until every American has access to clean water, no matter their zip code, the color of their skin or the size of their wallet."

"Stable sewer systems are vital for a functioning community, as anyone without well-maintained sewers can tell you," said State Representative LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis. "Especially with high rainfall putting more pressure on our system, our community is seeing overflowing sewers that create unsafe driving conditions, damage to property and general hazards to public health. Rebuild Illinois is living up to its name right now, and I thank Governor Pritzker for such essential support."

"Families who call Cahokia Heights home have dealt with persistent sewage and flooding issues in their homes, neighborhoods and community for decades," said State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea). "With this $10 million investment, I appreciate Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for acknowledging the importance and urgency of updating the sewage infrastructure and helping us address flooding concerns."

"Residents and businesses in Cahokia Heights have faced significant challenges due to a deteriorating wastewater collection system, including sewer system surcharging and basement backups," said EPA Director John J. Kim. "While we know additional state and federal financial assistance is necessary to resolve the wastewater challenges within Cahokia Heights and other communities with aging infrastructure, this is a positive step forward to help meet the needs of residents and customers of Cahokia Heights."

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