MACOMB — The city council's public works committee voted Wednesday to recommend work to correct a chemical discharge into the lagoons at the water treatment plant.
Consulting engineer Keith Plavek said Macomb received a warning notice from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency about a chlorine discharge into the lagoons, which then flow into the west branch of the Lamoine River.
"It's coming from the backwashing of the membrane system that treats the lake water," Plavek said. He said the city should insert a neutralized tank for chemicals used in the cleaning process.
Plavek said the IEPA would be sending the city a letter approving a one year time frame for corrections. He said state permits would be required for some of the work.
Public Works Director Scott Coker said Macomb will be a test case for stricter state standards. Plavek estimated the cost of construction to eventually replace the chemical treatment with gravity filters at $600,000,  but said the city could achieve an annual savings of $200,000 in chemical costs.
The committee also voted to recommend $300,000 in street repairs for 2019. Coker presented a street preservation plan that would allow cape sealing of about 40 city blocks of roadway.
Committee members voted to recommend spending $228,000 for pedestrian safety work along South Johnson Street. The city hopes to receive full reimbursement for the work under the federal Safe Routes to School program. Coker said the grant application deadline is November 19.
The committee recommended hiring IMEG, formerly McClure Engineering, to do the project design work for a fee of $25,000. IMEG engineer Megan Crook said pedestrian counts for the area would be needed as part of the grant application.

Reach Patrick Stout by email at pstout@mcdonooughvoice.com