Plant Profile: Mundelein Wastewater Treatment Plant


The only wastewater treatment plant in the village of Mundelein collects and treats the wastewater of around 31,000 inhabitants

The Mundelein Wastewater Treatment Plant is located in the village of Mundelein, Lake County, Illinois, on the northern suburbs of Chicago.

Paul Cacioppo is the Superintendent of Utilities at the Mundelein Wastewater Treatment Plant. Cacioppo’s goals are to exceed U.S. EPA regulations on a daily basis and be a good steward of the environment. The factory team consists of a laboratory technician, two maintenance agents, a foreman and a clerk, alongside Cacioppo.

The facility treats approximately 3.5 million gallons per day (mgd) and the nominal flow rate is 4.95 mgd. The only wastewater treatment plant in the village of Mundelein collects and treats the wastewater of around 31,000 residents and, according to Cacioppo, the community continues to grow. Mundelein maintains 95 miles of gravity sanitary sewer lines, 1.05 miles of sanitary sewer main and 57 miles of storm sewer lines.


“My greatest achievement is continually exceeding our limits set by the EPA,” Cacioppo said of his time at the facility. “I love that we are doing something for the environment, we are making a difference.” In addition to working to exceed the limits set by the US EPA, the Village of Mundelein is also compliant with OSHA’s Process Safety Management Program.

Several practices are implemented at UTEU to comply with the needs of the prevention program. These practices include: extensive employee training; inspection of chlorine containers before accepting delivery; rigorous twice-daily inspections of chlorine container rooms; and daily chlorine gas detector alarm tests.

The facility removes phosphorus and uses activated sludge with anaerobic digestion as treatment methods.

The wastewater treatment process begins with fine sieving (3 / 8th of an inch), then the water goes to the grit, to the primary tanks, then the solids go to anaerobic digestion and the water goes to the activated sludge tanks . The installation has six activated sludge tanks. After passing through secondary clarifiers, the water goes through sand filtration and tertiary treatment, which uses sodium hypochlorite for disinfection and sodium thiosulfate for chlorine removal.

The last major project for the wastewater treatment plant dates back four years and was aimed at eliminating phosphorus. The facility installed an annex to one of the buildings, where two 5,000 gallon tanks were installed for chemical phosphorus removal.

“For the most part it’s smooth sailing,” Cacioppo said. “We are also studying the biological removal of phosphorus and we are using a secondary process that we have been trying since last year. We have the impression that we are getting closer. ”

According to Cacioppo, his team went from six health safeguards to zero health safeguards. The facility also overcame the challenge of mitigating impacts to the floodplain and its surroundings, as it is located beside the Des Plaines River in Lake County, Illinois. Due to its proximity, the property of the sewage treatment plant includes wetlands and a century-old floodplain. The village wanted to co-locate a new 1.5 acre wetland / grassland restoration area within the required stormwater compensatory storage area, creating a wetland that tackles stormwater runoff before it hits. enter the Rivière des Plaines, as well as wildlife habitat.

The result is a new wetland that naturally cleans up stormwater runoff diverted from sediment and chemicals by allowing them to seep into the soil, evaporate into the air, or be absorbed by plants from the soil. wet area.

“What sets us apart from other processing plants is that we have an extremely well maintained facility. As for the future projects that we have, our next big project that we are in the process of doing, we are carrying out a major rehabilitation project for our digesters.

The team hopes that this $ 2 million project will be completed by next year.


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