This Saturday marks the beginning of SUST 220 Water, an undergraduate course in RU’s Sustainability Studies program, which is offered for the first time at the university’s Schaumburg Campus. While the class will focus on a wide range of water and sustainability issues, such as water quality and pollution, the ecological status of urban rivers, and wetlands ecology and restoration, it also will devote time to examining Schaumburg’s particular relation to water — a topic first examined in the initial development of the Schaumburg’s Sustainable Future website project.
In preparation for his first class session on Sept. 10th, Professor Mike Bryson learned a few interesting tidbits about how Schaumburg deals with its wastewater from Scott Kasper, Engineering Division Manager in the Department of Engineering and Public Works in the Village of Schaumburg.
- Unlike Chicago and many old towns and suburbs in the region, Schaumburg has separate storm and sanitary systems. All sewage from inside buildings is routed to wastewater treatment facilities, while stormwater (run-off from paved surfaces that enters drains along streets) is funneled toward Busse Lake, where it eventually enters Salt Creek enroute to the Des Plaines River.
- Schaumburg is served by two wastewater treatment plants run by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago: the John Egan plant (for areas east of Roselle Road) and the Hanover plant (for the western half of the Village).
- The Egan plant discharges its treated water in to the West Branch of Salt Creek, which snakes around the plant and then heads west under the I-290 expressway where it empties into the South Pool of Busse Lake.
These facts illustrate the important ecological connections between the land, the water treatment technology that we’ve built to manage sewage and run-off, and the upper watershed of Salt Creek, which is significantly impacted by the development of Schaumburg.