EPA Orders SW Illinois City to Address Overflow-Prone Sewers

CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered officials in a southwestern Illinois city to address problems with the community’s sewers blamed for nearly 30 sewer overflows since January.

The EPA’s order, issued Monday, mandates that the city of Cahokia Heights submit plans to control sanitary sewer overflows, which can cause water to back up, fouling residents’ homes and yards.

The federal agency’s order states that since Jan. 26, at least 28 sewer overflows have occurred in the city, located in St. Clair County just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

Cahokia Heights Mayor Curtis McCall Sr. said Monday that he was unaware of the order, but that the city will work with the agency to fix the problems.

The EPA order specifically requires the city to train sewer staff on inspections, develop a routine and inspection and maintenance plan for lift stations and create a plan to address complaints and work orders, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.

The order also requires the city to develop and submit sanitary system overflow plans to the EPA, in an effort to eliminate overflows in the community.

This is the second EPA order issued this month for Cahokia Heights. The first one, announced Aug. 3, ordered the city to take immediate actions to prevent drinking-water contamination.

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