Officials with the DuPage Waste Water Treatment Plant said that some equipment was damaged in Sunday night’s EF-3 tornado. The damage was not catastrophic and is currently under repair, but DuPage County’s Public Works Operations Manager, Sean Reese, said it spoke to the power of the storm.
“We had some of the filtration equipment get damaged, mainly from debris that was flying around,” Reese said. “There were a couple dumpsters that ended up in one of the clarifiers… a lot of flying wood, construction lumber, tree branches, things like that.”
Waste Water, Not Drinking Water
Reese emphasized that the damage was done to the county’s waste water system, not its drinking water system. Waste water comes from private and public sewage systems and is not immediately recycled into potable water. Instead, it is treated and released into the county’s natural river systems. The county’s drinking water stores were not damaged by the storm.
“All of our drinking water systems in the area are on Lake Michigan water,” Reese said. “None of those were affected.”
Additionally, thanks to redundant systems present at the treatment plant, the storm damage did not impact the quality of the discharged waste water. Maintaining waste water quality is essential for local plant and animal life, preventing the spread of disease, and ensuring clean waterways.
Damaged But Not Destroyed
Reese said the damaged equipment at the treatment plant would take several days to repair. While those repairs are underway, the plant will continue to treat incoming waste water.
“We’re running, [the plant] is very redundant in its processes” Reese said. “We’re still able to treat what the plant is designed for.”
Naperville News 17’s David Byrnes reports
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