The Village of Sauget Physical Chemical
Treatment Plant, commonly referred to as PChem, is the
original wastewater treatment facility located in Sauget,
Illinois. It is owned by the Village of Sauget and is
operated and maintained by a non-profit corporation, the Sauget
Sanitary Development and Research Association (SSDRA).
PChem originally consisted of two pump stations, built
in 1942 and 1952, which were used for
flood protection. Additions were made in 1966 to turn the
facility into a primary treatment facility, serving the large
industries located in Sauget. The facility has undergone continuous
renovations and upgrades, with the largest treatment expansion
completed in 1976.
In 1986, the American Bottoms Wastewater Treatment Plant was
opened to treat PChem effluent along with municipal treatment
for East St. Louis, the Village of Cahokia, the Village of Sauget,
parts of Alorton, Centreville, and Belleville, and areas in
Centreville Township served by the Commonfields of Cahokia Public
American Bottoms was established to meet the
secondary treatment requirements of The Clean Water Act of 1972.
Construction was financed with $66,000,000 of grant money
from the USEPA and the IEPA along with $42,000,000 in municipal
bonds issued by the Village of Sauget.
Both PChem and American Bottoms are owned by the Village of
Sauget, and are operated under a regional agreement with SSDRA.
The American Bottoms plant was built based on recommendations
from engineering firms that conducted extensive evaluations and
studies of regional wastewater treatment facility proposals. In May
of 1976 they submitted their report to St. Clair County. The report
contained evaluations of 19 different alternatives.
Their final recommendation was to construct a consolidated
regional wastewater treatment facility in Sauget that would treat
wastewater from the Village of Cahokia, the Village of Sauget, and
the City of East St. Louis. They also recommended that wastewater
being treated at the MESD Lansdowne facility be conveyed to the
Granite City facility, that the existing primary treatment
plants in East St. Louis and Cahokia be shut down, and that the
PChem facility should continue to pretreat Sauget industrial
wastewater before being sent to the new American Bottoms treatment
plant for secondary treatment.
The communities involved hired the engineering firm of Russell
and Axon to design the new American Bottoms facility. The formal
agreement between the communities for the construction and
operation of the American Bottoms plant was submitted to the
appropriate governing bodies in the fall of 1977. This formal
agreement is called the 1977 Regional Agreement. An essential part
of this agreement is that each community and not the region, as a
whole, was to remain responsible for the operation, repair, and
maintenance of its own sewer system.
American Bottoms and PChem have a governing Board of Directors.
In addition, the Village of Sauget Board of Trustees
regulates rates, budgets, and other financial concerns.