Murphysboro breaks ground on new waste water treatment facility

The city of Murphysboro, Illinois, is spending $16 million to upgrade its sewage treatment center and keep waste water out of the Big Muddy River.

A public park may seem like a strange place for a waste water treatment facility, but Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens says the strangest thing about this 60-year-old sewage plant is how close it sits to the Big Muddy River.

"A lot of the things here have been grandfathered in over the years,” Stephens said. “They would never allow a plant like this to be constructed today because it's so outdated."

The plant has rusting issues, which have caused filter arms to break off. That is forcing the city to buy expensive, custom-made replacements. Flooding has also been a chief concern with the area.

"The new plant is going to be built up on higher ground, so it's not going to have the same impact,” Stephens said. “It's also going to be laid out differently, so it won't have as large of a footprint. Those two things should help keep the river out of the equation."

If all goes as planned, it should take about 14 months from start to finish to complete the brand new sewage facility. 

Stephens says he hopes the water and sewer upgrades will attract businesses back to Murphysboro.

People in Murphysboro will not see an increase on their sewage bills because an increase was actually put in place 10 years ago to save up for the new plant.

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