Rock River sewer officials want to build wetland

ROCKFORD, Ill. — Officials at the Rock River Water Reclamation District say they may be able to filter sewage and save money by building a wetland.

But the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has rejected that plan, saying the district has to build a more expensive system to make sure groundwater is protected.

The agency denied a permit for the wetland, saying it can't issue permits for facilities that might pollute groundwater.

The Rockford Register Star reports that local officials are appealing to the IEPA during a meeting next week.

Sewer district officials say a wetland would cost $4.5 million. But a 30-million-gallon cement tank or lined lagoon required by the IEPA would cost $1 million more.

They also say wetlands are used by other sewer plants around the country.