The federal Environmental Protection Agency has cited Colchester for 28 violations of water quality regulations. The violations occurred from January through August of last year. The EPA gave the city 90 days to comply.
The city has been working to solve its water woes. It has completed one phase of the project.. The next two phases will take up to 2 1/2 years and cost up to $4 million.
Mayor Danny Bice and John Calise, an engineer with Benton and Associates, held a teleconference with the EPA and the Illinois EPA last Thursday. Calise said the city faced fines and a possible administrative penalty of up to $177,500. He felt the EPA came to understand the difficulty and will give the city the time it needs.
The city has been working to solve its water woes. It has completed one phase of the project. The next two phases will take up to 2 1/2 years and cost up to $4 million.
Bice said, “We don't have any options. The only option we have now is to try figure out where the funding is going to come from.”
The city will try to find funding went it meets with the Rural Development Agency of the USDA. Calise hopes the city will be eligible for grants. He said it might have to depend on a combination of grants and low-interest loans.
Calise said the firm might get the EPA to revisit the violations. The data used in the citation used calculated water flow instead of the actual flow. The city is installing a new flow meter this week. Calise said the once data on the actual flows comes in, it might be possible to recalculate the flows from the period in question. That might lower the levels of solids in the water.
Calise said the EPA had targeted 19 other Illinois communities downstate for similar violations.