Decommissioning Of Urbana Water Treatment Plant Begins

August 14, 2017
The Illinois American Water plant in Urbana.

The Illinois American Water Treatment Plant in Urbana awaits decommissioning.

Jim Meadows/ Illinois Public Media

A water treatment plant has operated on North Lincoln Avenue in  Urbana since the 1880’s — but no longer. Illinois-American Water took the plant offline in June. And Monday is the day they plan to start dismantling it.

Illinois-American Water spokesperson Karen Cotton says dismantling the Urbana water treatment plant will take about two weeks — and neighbors should be prepared for extra noise between the hours of 7 AM and 8 PM.

Cotton says they’ll be relying on the area’s two newer water treatment plants, on Mattis Avenue in Champaign, and on Bradley Avenue, west of Champaign. She says those plants are sufficient to serve the Champaign-Urbana area, especially in light of its changing water usage.

 “Folks are using less water these days,” said Cotton. “A lot of folks have low-flow toilets and fixtures, so, they’re not using as much water as they were, say, thirty years ago.”

Cotton says dismantling the Urbana water treatment plant will take about two weeks — and neighbors should be prepared for extra noise between the hours of 7 AM and 8 PM.

The decommissioning of Illinois-American Water’s Urbana water treatment plant will open up the eight-acre site for new development.

While the company says it has no firm plans for the Urbana water treatment plant site, it has retained a real estate broker for a possible sale.

Meanwhile, Urbana city officials are hopeful.

Urbana Economic Development Director Brandon Boys notes the site is located on an arterial road, could qualify for Enterprise Zone tax breaks, and lies near the University of Illinois and Urbana’s two hospitals.

“So we would anticipate that in the same manner we’ve seen a lot of development along University Avenue in general, that this intersection will likely be sought after, and the city wants to assist with that new private investment”, said Boys.

Mayor Diane Marlin says the site’s proximity to both Carle Hospital and the University of Illinois makes it a possible sight for something related to the new Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the university.

“It’s just an excellent location for a very important development,” said Marlin.

The Urbana water treatment plant site is currently zoned for Light Industrial and Office use. But Boys says that could be changed in the future.

Story source: WILL