DeKALB – The Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District is now a recipient of a National Utility of the Future Today Award, the utility announced Thursday.
The award is bestowed upon wastewater utilities for energy generation and recovery, as well as efforts in watershed stewardship, community engagement, energy efficiency and resource recovery.
The DeKalb-based district provides sanitary sewer and wastewater treatment for the city of DeKalb, village of Malta, Northern Illinois University, Kishwaukee College and surrounding unincorporated areas.
Accepting the award on behalf of the district was its executive director, Mark Eddington.
“Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District is proud to be recognized along with several other leaders in the clean water industry,” Eddington said in a statement. “We feel our efforts to ensure environmental and financial sustainability will deliver value to our ratepayers and the environment.”
In its application, the district highlighted the work of its heat and power engines, which produce electrical power from sewage. The process allows the plant to produce 125% of the electrical power it uses, pushing the balance back to the public grid.
The Water Environment Federation, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, WaterReuse, the Water Research Foundation and the U.S. Water Alliance and their advisory partners, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy, recognized the district at an award ceremony held at WEFTEC 2022 in New Orleans on Oct. 11, the release states.
This year is the first time that the district has received this national award for energy generation and recovery, making it one of 34 in the U.S. and the only utility from Illinois to receive this honor in 2022.