Wastewater Control Commission Partnership

In the late 1970’s the Fox Lake Inland Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District was established. The first order of business was extensive water quality testing to determine the extent of pollution in the lake caused by failing septic systems. Upon completion of the necessary tests and many Lake District and public informational meetings, it was decided that the area around the lake within the District boundaries should be served by a municipal wastewater collection system.

The Lake District developed a facilities plan for treatment. This consisted of an aerated lagoon facility with a dual discharge to either surface water via a holding pond or a groundwater via land disposal. The Lake District also submitted a facilities plan at about the same time which called for joint treatment (with the City of Fox Lake). It was determined that a joint treatment facility was about 20% less expensive than two separate facilities based on a 20-year cost effectiveness study.  The regulations which determined how grant monies were allocated required that the most cost effective alternative was chosen.  An alternative, which was not cost effective, was not grant eligible in order to conserve the limited grant funds available at the time.

The Lake District was joined by the City in a joint treatment facility. DNR favored the single treatment facility for both the cost savings and because it would have two treatment facilities and two discharge sources in the same vicinity. Providing sewer service to the District would eliminate failing on-site systems which potentially contributed to lake pollution and could be a health hazard. Providing a new treatment facility for the City would address issues of their failing treatment plant.

Eventually a series of agreements were formulated and acted upon that led to the formation of the Fox Lake Wastewater Control Commission. The treatment plant ownership was divided based on anticipated future growth. There is a shared cost on a proportionate basis between the Lake District and the City.  A six member Board of Commissioners was appointed (three Lake District and three City) whom oversee the operations of the treatment plant. The plant was constructed, staff hired, and the Lake District and City collection systems were connected to the new facility. The DNR studied various sites which led to the selection and approval of the location of the treatment site.