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Homewood officials search for source of sewage leak in Prairie Lakes Business Park

Homewood officials discovered Tuesday, Sept. 28, that sanitary sewage was present in a stormwater retention pond in the Prairie Lakes business park. The pond is at the east side of the business park, directly west of the Kohl’s and Walmart stores.

On Wednesday, Homewood Public Works crews began pumping water from the pond in order to determine the source of the sewage, according to a news release from the village. 
Public Works Director John Schaefer said Friday that crews have not yet determined the source but continue to make progress. 

Workers are pumping water out of the pond and directing it to the sanitary sewer system, where it will flow to the treatment plant.

Lowering the water level in the pond is preventing the sewage from being released into the adjoining ponds, village officials said. Walton Lake located in the Izaak Walton Preserve will not be affected. The president of the Izaak Walton Preserve has been notified of the situation.

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Because raw sewage is entering into a stormwater drainage system that eventually drains into creeks and other waterways, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has been notified, as is required by law. A representative from the IEPA met onsite with public works officials and determined that appropriate actions are being taken by the Village. 

Once the source of the sewage is found and the impact to the pond is determined, the Village will consult with the IEPA and take necessary steps to correct the problem and perform remediation if required.

Schaefer said there was little odor near the site on Friday, and he does not think the sewage in the pond contributed to the odor problem on the east side of the village on Thursday.

That situation was caused by a shift in wind direction that brought odors from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District storm water reservoir in Thornton quarry wafting over Homewood.

Homewood typically is not affected as much by quarry odors, he said.

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