The Urbana and Champaign Sanitary District (USCD) held a public meeting on Monday with a single item on the agenda regarding the sale of effluent water to Cronus Chemicals who have proposed a nitrogen production facility in the area.
The $1.2 billion Tuscola, Illinois complex would lock in effluent water to service production needs at an initial rate of $1.30/1,000 gallons until parent company Cronus Chemicals Llc has paid in full the cost of construction. At that point, the continuing rate would fall to $1.00/1,000 gallons -- $2.3 million per year.
Utilizing effluent would protect the Mahomet Aquifer and nearby watersheds, and offer a $2.3 million revenue stream for USCD, allowing that utility to allocate $50,000/year to habitat repair and reconstruction.
USCD will also construct a 50 million gallon storage lagoon to keep water flowing to the Cronus complex should drought force curtailments. This would be the first effluent storage lagoon in Illinois' history and would eliminate the need to draw water from local aquifers.
Although a true site has not yet been chosen, Cronus, with the Urbana and Champaign Sanitary District, has found a way to protect existing water sources, provide a revenue stream for a local utility, and hedge against drought inspired curtailments.