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Planning for Peoria's costly CSO fix

The US EPA is expected to require the City of Peoria to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in sewer improvements. But officials say it’s unclear exactly when the figure will be known.

The City is negotiating with the EPA over its water system that overflows sewage into the Illinois River during heavy rainfalls.

City Manager Patrick Urich says they are looking at creative ways to help control the massive outflow of water during a storm, including, “Utilizing green solutions and green technology at every possible point that we can because it does allow for us to capture the rainwater and try and divert it from the combined sewer system that we have right now.”

A new three-year grant is poised to help the city explore stormwater solutions. 

Urich says the City also needs to consider funding options to cover the EPA settlement remediation costs, that could stretch over two or more decades. He says that could mean a city-wide stormwater utility-fee, sewer rates or tax increases.