RIDGEWOOD – December 12, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today announced $3 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency grants and loans to make significant environmental improvements in old and ailing sewage and drainage systems in Ridgewood, near Joliet in Will County.
The grants will be used to pay for installing modern sewage treatment and septic systems to more than 180 homes, which now have inadequate or non-existent sewage or septic systems. Improvements will also be made to ensure a safe source of drinking water for 368 residential properties.
“There is no excuse for the residents not having access to 21st-century sewage and drinking water systems,” said Governor Quinn. “This funding will bring long-overdue aid to ensure that Ridgewood’s families have access to a healthy clean environment and safe drinking water.”
Will County will use funds from ARRA and Illinois EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) to help address this serious environmental and public health issue.
"Through this cooperative funding effort of federal, state, and local government, Will County is installing trunk lines which will allow the residents in the Ridgewood neighborhood to hook up to City of Joliet water and sewer systems," said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. "In addition to bringing safe and sanitary water and sewer to this neighborhood, this project lays a good foundation for future economic development in this area."
The Illinois EPA allocates the available funding based on “readiness to proceed” to move projects forward as quickly as possible to meet critical infrastructure needs. Will County will receive $2,336,624 from the Public Water Supply Loan Program and $624,441 from the Water Pollution Control Loan Program, both in the form of 20-year, interest-free loans with the first 25 percent of the principal provided forgiven by the State of Illinois and ARRA. An additional $83,509 was contributed by Will County.
The contractor is ready to begin work, which meets one of the important criteria of ARRA. As a result of actions from Governor Quinn and the Illinois EPA, properties with inadequate or no septic systems will be addressed. Although the potential health effects of raw sewage running in the streets and pouring into Hickory Creek are obvious, it also contributes to problems with the community’s drinking water.
The 368 properties within Ridgewood, which do not have water service provided by the City of Joliet, have either individual or small community wells that have been contaminated by waste discharges from the private sewer systems that have contaminated the groundwater supplying the subdivision. Will County will be using the ARRA and SRF funds to extend water service from Joliet’s public drinking water system to the Ridgewood Subdivision.
Ridgewood is located in northeast Joliet Township in Will County.