Downers Grove Sanitary District


The Downers Grove Sanitary District is responsible for providing sanitary sewer service for much of the Village of Downers Grove, the portion of the Village of Westmont west of Cass Avenue, and portions of Woodridge, Lisle, Oak Brook, and Darien, Illinois. We are a separate unit of local government, independent of the municipalities where we provide service. We are not part of the Village of Downers Grove.

We collect sanitary wastewater through over 245 miles of sanitary sewers that we operate and maintain. We also operate and maintain nine wastewater pumping stations located throughout our service area. Sanitary wastewater is collected and treated at our Wastewater Treatment Center, located at 5003 Walnut Avenue in Downers Grove. Our treated wastewater (effluent) is discharged to the East Branch of the DuPage River or St. Joseph’s Creek, as permitted by the State of Illinois with authority from the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency.

We provide service to 20,000 customers, including wastewater generated by more than 60,000 people and a number of commercial, industrial and institutional customers. We have the capacity to treat an average of 11 million gallons per day of sanitary wastewater.

History   Click for More Detail

The Downers Grove Sanitary District was organized in 1921 under the State of Illinois Sanitary District Act of 1917. Originally, our treatment facilities were located on Curtiss Street at what is now the site of Sterling North Park in Downers Grove. In 1954, we began construction of the existing Wastewater Treatment Center on our property on Walnut Avenue just south of the Burlington railroad tracks, and were able to eliminate the original plant. We have made improvements to the plant on numerous occasions, including major expansions in the early 1970s and again in the late 1980s.

We have accepted expansions of our sewer system as development has occurred. We have records of sewers dating back to 1904 that continue to operate satisfactorily.

Board of Trustees   Click for More Detail

The Downers Grove Sanitary District is operated under the policies, rules and ordinances established by our Board of Trustees. The Board consists of three members, each appointed for three-year terms by the DuPage County Board Chairman with the advice and consent of the County Board.

Board of Trustees:

Wallace D. Van Buren

Amy S. Kovacevic
Vice President

Donald F. Peters

More information regarding Board meetings and activities.

Questions or comments for the Board can be sent via email.

Board of Local Improvements   Click for More Detail

The Downers Grove Sanitary District's Board of Local Improvements (BOLI) reviews service requests for sanitary sewer main extensions (including subdivisions and special assessments), for developments where there is existing sewer service but the proposed density exceeds District design allocations and commercial developments which require annexation into the District. The Board of Local Improvements consists of three members, each appointed for a one year term by the District's Board of Trustees.

Board of Local Improvements:

Kenneth J. Rathje

Robert T. Jungwirth
Vice President

Mark Scacco

More information regarding Board of Local Improvements meetings and activities.

Staff   Click for More Detail

Our dedicated staff is responsible for administration, operation, and maintenance of the utility. Key staff members are:

Nicholas J. Menninga   E-Mail
General Manager

W. Clay Campbell   E-Mail
Administrative Services Director

Awards and Achievements   Click for More Detail

Our facility and staff has had a long legacy of award-winning performance. Some of our past achievements have been tabulated:

Awards and Achievements

Collection System
Services We Provide To Help With Your Sewers
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The sanitary sewer collection system consists of gravity sewers, pump stations, and forcemains. Gravity sewers ranging from 6-inch diameter up to 42-inch diameter transport flows to the Wastewater Treatment Center, or to a nearby pumping station. Pumping stations pump flows from low-lying areas through forcemains to a downstream portion of the sewer system where gravity sewers can carry the flow to the Wastewater Treatment Center. It can take up to 8 hours for flows entering the collection system in distant portions of the collection system to reach the Wastewater Treatment Center.

We are responsible for ensuring that the sewers carry sanitary flow at all times. We routinely inspect, clean, repair, rehabilitate and/or replace sewers in our system. In addition, we are always working to remove sources of rain and groundwater from entering the sanitary sewer system. These sources of flow consume valuable capacity that is needed to handle sanitary flows, especially during intense rainfall events.

In order to better serve our customers, we are very interested in hearing about any sewer backups or any unusual activity related to the sanitary sewers. If you experience a sanitary sewer backup problem at any time, you should call the District Office at (630)969-0664. We have several programs to assist our customers experiencing sewer backups. These programs include repairs to building service laterals, the installation of overhead plumbing to prevent basement backups, providing a reimbursement for backups caused by a blockage of the public sanitary sewer, and a program to seal the sewers from rain and groundwater.

While we do what we can to keep excessive flows from the sewer mains, we are always seeking a commitment from our customers to help us by eliminating rain and groundwater sources that are on private property. By keeping these excessive flows out of the sanitary sewers, you are helping your neighbors by playing your part in preventing backups, keeping down the cost to run the Sanitary District, and protecting the water environment from pollution.

Service Area
Getting New Service From Us
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Our planned service area is delineated under the rules of the Federal Clean Water Act. The area is designated as the Facilities Planning Area Boundary, recorded by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).

A map of the Facilities Planning Area Boundaries is available from CMAP. An electronic version of the map can be viewed here:

Facilities Planning Area Boundary Map

Our current service area is defined by the property that is annexed into our contiguous boundaries. Our boundaries do not match municipal boundaries in the area. Annexation into the Downers Grove Sanitary District is not the same as annexation into the Village of Downers Grove, or any of the municipalities in our service area. As customers in our planned service area are connected to our system, property is annexed into the Downers Grove Sanitary District for purposes of sanitary sewer service only.

Wastewater Treatment
Wastewater Treatment Center
Biosolids Distribution Program
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We provide treatment of sanitary wastewater at our Wastewater Treatment Center located at 5003 Walnut Avenue, in Downers Grove. We employ widely-used technology to provide a high degree of purification prior to discharging to nearby surface waters.

We provide primary settling, followed by secondary treatment and ammonia removal using activated sludge, tertiary sand filtration, and seasonal disinfection for most sanitary wastewater. In large storm events we use dedicated primary settling and disinfection facilities to treat flows that are beyond the capacity of the main plant.

Most treated effluent is discharged into the East Branch of the DuPage River near the Burlington Railroad Bridge. During large storm events, some flow is also discharged into St. Josephs Creek near Walnut Avenue. All discharges are consistently monitored, sampled and analyzed in our laboratory. Results and operating records are routinely reported to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency as a requirement of our National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit.

Our plant separates and stabilizes residual solids from the sanitary wastewater. Our process prepares these biosolids for easy use as a valuable soil supplement, providing essential plant nutrients in a natural substrate. We make this product available for use, free of charge, at our pick-up station located at 2650 Curtiss Street, (just opposite Katrine Avenue, about ½ mile west of Belmont Road) in Downers Grove. We are also willing to deliver bulk quantities of biosolids to interested users, including our customers, nearby landscapers, park districts, and other users with landscaping needs.

Annual Newsletter Click for More Detail

We publish and distribute a newsletter each year, providing updates on activities and programs.

Recent newsletters:

Year 2015
Year 2014
Year 2013
Year 2012
Year 2011

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