The Village of Shannon had many challenges with its public water supply. Because of continued elevated levels of radium 226, radium 228 and gross alpha, the Village entered into a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Compliance Commitment Agreement to install treatment equipment to reduce radium concentrations to acceptable state standards. Fehr Graham determined that barium concentrations were close to exceeding drinking water standards, so provisions were made to add barium removal equipment. After considering alternative treatment options, we decided to use TonkaZorb Hydrous Manganese Oxide (HMO) filtration units to treat for radium and Tonka Ion Exchange Softening units with Bryneer salt storage to treat for barium. Barium concentrations became an issue six months after construction started. We properly planned during design, so adequate space and piping was available to add this item.
Our staff worked closely with the Village Board to add operational efficiencies and system backups to ensure the Village could economically provide safe drinking water to its residents. The project included designing and building a well house and adding radium and barium removal systems and a new production water well. The Village also replaced many critical water mains and painted the Water Tower.Without a long-term loan from the Illinois EPA, the Village could not have advanced this project. Fehr Graham helped secure a $5.2 million, 30-year loan, which was a first for the Illinois EPA. The loan funded the entire project, including planning, engineering design, construction, construction inspection, management and contract administration fees. We worked with the Illinois EPA to reduce Shannon's interest rate from 1.76% to 1%. Shannon received $500,000 in principal forgiveness, reducing the financial pressure on user fees.
Fehr Graham helped advance a study to determine the user rates necessary to meet the loan repayment schedule. While users did see a small increase to support the project, the Village now is in position to provide safe water to its residents for decades to come.
AT A GLANCE
» Addressed and investigated compliance issues.
» Coordinated permitting with local, federal and state officials.
» Designed water system treatment.
» Helped with funding solutions and recommended user rates.
» Completed construction observation.
» Provided startup training and certified water operator until Village operator gets proper license.