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MWRD projects to create jobs, clean rivers

Updated: March 14, 2013 6:23AM



A $250 million low-interest loan will allow the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to improve public health, clean area rivers and upgrade the region’s water infrastructure, officials said.

Gov. Pat Quinn said the projects, financed through the Illinois Clean Water Initiative, will create 2,000 construction-related jobs and support an additional 8,000 jobs. The initiative is designed to help local government overhaul aging drinking water and sewage treatment plants and pipelines.

Quinn called it “a big step” toward cleaning up Chicago-area waterways and said the MWRD projects will put to work thousands of tradesmen.

“The jobs created by the Clean Water Initiative are good-paying jobs since a prevailing wage requirement is part of each project,” Plumbers Local 130 business manager James Coyne said.

Among the local projects is adding disinfection equipment to treat out-flowing water at the MWRD’s Calumet sewage treatment plant, which serves a 300-square-mile area that includes the south suburbs. Chlorination will be used to kill bacteria before wastewater is released into the Little Calumet River.

An addition also will be made to the Lemont Water Reclamation Plant to better manage stormwater.

AP and staff reports



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