Other Services

The Rock River Water Reclamation District is more than just a treatment facility. The District owns and maintains a majority of the wastewater collection sewers within the service area. The District’s 1,100 mile-long (approximate) network of buried sewers conveys wastewater from residences, industrial sites, and other businesses to the treatment plant in southeast Rockford. The collection facilities consist of gravity sewers, approximately 35 pumping stations, and pressure sewers. The gravity system consists of large and small diameter sewer lines. The largest gravity lines are interceptor and trunk sewers of diameters up to six feet. They often follow rivers, creeks and drainage ways. Eight and ten inch diameter lateral (neighborhood) sewers flow to larger interceptors and trunks.

This vast network of pipes must be maintained to ensure that the wastewater is making its journey all the way to the treatment plant on Kishwaukee Street in Rockford, Illinois. The Supporting Services Department is responsible for the inspection, cleaning and repair of the collection system.

For more information on the District’s various services and other helpful hints, click on the headings below:

Mainline Cleaning & Backup Response
The Supporting Services Department responds to sewer backups into homes, business, etc. To contact the Supporting Services Department, call 815-387-7600. Email Supporting Services at Supporting Services.

To report a sewer backup you may call this number 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

District Vactor Sewer Cleaning Truck

Cleaning

The cleaning of sanitary sewer lateral lines and trunk lines in the collection system is completed on a routine schedule. Additional cleaning services occur in the event of a back-up. Sewers back-up for two reasons; either the line is blocked or more water is trying to flow into the main than it can hold.

When the main cannot handle all of the water entering it, the water backs up to a higher level and exits an opening. Generally the water comes up through floor drains, toilets, and sinks in the lowest part of the houses that are at the low end of the sewer main.

Blockages in sewer mains can happen because the pipes become filled with debris, tree roots grow into the pipes and block the flow, or because large objects, such as tree branches and rocks, are dumped into manholes.

One of the most common causes of over capacity flooding is the illegal connection of sump pumps to the sewer lines. Just 10 sump pumps can overfill the average residential sewer main during a storm.

Who’s Responsible

The Rock River Water Reclamation District is responsible for the maintenance of the sewer mains that run in the streets. Individual property owners are responsible for the cleaning and the maintenance of the lines running from houses to the sewer mains.

Property owners are also responsible for any damage caused by blockages of the lines running from the house to the main (typically under the street). The District is responsible for problems in its main lines only when the problem is due to negligence on the District’s part.

If the problem is in the lateral line from the house to the main, the District’s policy is to have the homeowner or resident call one of the District’s bonded sewer service cleaning contractors. The homeowner or resident is entitled to the Rock River Water Reclamation District’s $25.00 discount, once every 24-month period, ONLY when using one of the District’s Licensed/Bonded Service Cleaning Contractors. The discount is provided directly to the resident by the bonded contractor. For a list of contractors see Contractors

Televising & Inspection

The Supporting Services department utilizes box style trucks equipped with sophisticated camera and computer equipment to televise the sewer lines. Utilizing manholes (access points to the underground pipes), the cameras are mechanically moved down the pipes allowing staff to see the condition of the pipes and various connections to the pipes. This practice is used to determine if repairs are necessary. In some instances, the lines are televised after repairs are complete to ensure the integrity of the repair.

Rehabilitation & Repairs

The collection system and all its components require periodic rehabilitation or repair. Personnel from the Supporting Services Department routinely perform these repairs. Some of these repairs include:

  • Manhole rehabilitation, including the rebuilding, reconstruction, elimination, casting and cover replacement, and all infrastructure repairs.
  • Main line repairs, rehabilitation, and some installations of main line sections in the Collection System, including its connection to the existing main line.
  • Street, sidewalk, and terrace restoration after repairs.
Locating

When a person or business will be doing work which requires digging, you must call J.U.L.I.E. All of the repairs and rehabilitation work performed by the District requires any and all utilities to be located. Additionally, District staff must also locate the sewer lines when other persons or businesses request to dig. Various utilities are identified by different colors of paint and flags. The sewer lines are marked with green and are located in the streets and public right-of-way.

If you see green flags or paint appear in your yard, it may be for work to be performed by the District, or in many cases the sewer lines are being located due to a request by another entity through the J.U.L.I.E. system. The District receives thousands of these requests per year.

The Supporting Services Department tracks the J.U.L.I.E. requests it places for work to be completed by District staff, but can not provide information on locating which is completed at the request of other entities.

Why do I Have Flags in My Yard?

If you see green flags or paint appear in your yard, it may be for work to be performed by the District, or in many cases the sewer lines are being located due to a request by another entity through the J.U.L.I.E. system. The District receives thousands of these requests per year.

The Supporting Services Department tracks the requests it places for work to be completed by District staff, but can not provide information on locating which is completed at the request of other entities.

Special Wastes & Monitoring

The sanitary sewer lines convey waste to the treatment plant. There are many contributors to the waste which enters the sewer lines within the District’s boundaries. Some of these wastes are more problematic for the treatment process and require pre-treatment before being discharged to the sewers or require monitoring to ensure that excessive amounts are not entering the system at once. The Industrial Waste Surveillance Department permits and monitors businesses and restaurants which discharge to the system. For more information, see Industrial/Commercial Building Owners Information.

Homeowner’s Responsibility & Do You Need Insurance?

Homeowners may periodically receive information regarding insurance for the repair of sewer lines. As a homeowner, it is your decision whether this insurance is necessary. For more information click the link below.

It is Your Decision- Do You Need Sewer Repair Insurance?

Connecting to Sanitary Sewer

Connecting to the sanitary sewer requires approval and inspection by the Rock River Water Reclamation District. The specific requirements vary, depending on whether the connection is for residential or commercial/industrial properties. The District’s Code of Ordinances provides the specific requirements. The process of applications, permitting, and inspection of connections is overseen by the District’s Engineering Department.

For more information or questions concerning connections, please contact our Engineering Department at 815-387-7660.

The Engineering Department works closely with developers, general contractors, and plumbers throughout the area to ensure that all additions, rehabilitation, and replacement of sanitary sewer within the public right-of-way meets or exceeds District requirements. Engineering staff performs or coordinates the design, build, and inspect construction projects within the District’s boundaries. The specifications, applications, permits, and inspections required exist to ensure the integrity of the entire system from collection through treatment.

Is Sewer Available In My Area?

The Rock River Water Reclamation District serves a large area and is continually growing. Requirements vary based on whether the request is for a residential or commercial/industrial property. For more information on whether sewer is available and the connection requirements, please see Is Sewer Available In My Area?

For questions, please contact the Engineering Department at 815-387-7660.

Starting a business?

Congratulations on your decision to begin a business. The Rock River Water Reclamation District’s Code of Ordinances does provide specific requirements and permits based on the type of business that will be conducted within the facility. There are requirements based on whether the business will reside in an existing structure or in a new facility.

To find out more about taking the proper steps to ensure your business starts out in compliance, see Starting a New Business.

For questions, please contact the Engineering Department at 815-387-7660.

Recreational Vehicle Sanitary Waste Dump Station

The District operates a Recreational Vehicle (RV) Sanitary Waste dump station at it’s 3333 Kishwaukee Street Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The cost is $5.00 per vehicle per visit, exact change is required.   The RV must stop at the District’s guard house to pay, complete paperwork and receive directions prior to dumping.  The RV must be equipped with a discharge hose and the vehicle operator is required to clean up any spillage that occurs prior to leaving the premises.