• DeKalb
    DeKalb, Illinois
  • Tuesday 09:39 PM
    21st of January, 2020
    - or - 815.758.3513

    KWRD Phase 1B Improvements - Current Project Information

    The District's $46.35m project is currently under construction.

    Details of the ongoing project can be viewed by clicking below.

    Phase 1B

    Dreading Thanksgiving Cleanup - Bring In Your Used Cooking Oil Here

    Free: Bring in your Turkey Frying Grease to our Drop-off Box located in our front lot for your convenience.

    Click for Drop-off Information

    Scope of Service

    Treating Wastewater

    Four to Nine Million Gallons a Day in Normal Conditions

    The work done by a wastewater treatment plant is measured in MGD (millions of gallons per day) units.

    On normal days, users of the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District generate between 4.0 and 9.0 Million Gallons of wastewater. The chart that follows shows the average daily flow of wastewater to the plant for the year 2016 by month in millions of gallons.

    2016 Monthly  

    Average Daily Flow

    6.56 MGD

    5.92 MGD

    6.78 MGD

    6.9 MGD

    9.69 MGD

    5.21 MGD

    5.02 MGD

    6.15 MGD

    5.66 MGD

    5.29 MGD

    5.92 MGD

    6.05 MGD

    Much More in Heavy Rainfall Conditions

    Although the District is constantly improving the collection system to try to prevent excess flows during heavy rainfall events, undiscovered connections between the storm sewers or house tiling systems and the sanitary sewers still exist. That means that during rain events, water floods the collection system raising the plant flow to astonishing levels of 30, 40 or 50 Million Gallons of wastewater a day for brief periods of time, challenging the plant and its operators.

    Serving a Variety of Users


    Residential users include about 44,000 residents in and around the City of DeKalb.

    Commercial and Retail

    The District also serves the service and commercial businesses in its Facilities Planning Area. These include restaurants, retail stores, health care providers, recreational and entertainment enterprises.


    The industrial sector includes local industries that are considered “Significant Industrial Users” under the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination program. The discharges of these and other industrial users are regulated to protect the public and the environment. Testing is done to assure that the regulated industrial users are following the stipulations of their discharge permits.


    The District treats wastewater generated by Northern Illinois University students, faculty, and service employees. The more than 21,000 students attending NIU in DeKalb, IL. account for a significant proportion of the total wastewater volume that reaches the plant at 1301 Sycamore Road, which then treats and discharges to the Kishwaukee River.

    The operation of the treatment plant is complicated by the University’s large population, which is around half of the population in the City of DeKalb. The flow coming to the plant from the University varies with the class schedule. Therefore, the volume of wastewater the plant must handle jumps dramatically when the students return to campus and falls dramatically when they leave.

    The treatment plant’s design depends on biological organisms to remove organic substances from the wastewater. These living communities of organisms adjust to their environment. The quick upswing or downswing upsets the organisms, demanding great expertise on the part of plant operators to keep the biological treatment system in balance.

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