City of Casey Utilities

The City Utility Department, under the direction of Superintendent Shelby Biggs, provides water, wastewater, and energy services to the City of Casey. Other city services include weather mitigation actions such as snow removal.

Snow Removal    |    City Water   |   Wastewater Treatment   |   Natural Gas   |   Power Plant    

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City team hanging the tourism signs for the Park.

City of Casey – Street Department Snow Removal Policy

  • Snow removal involves the clearing of approximately twenty-seven miles of city streets.  Initial snow-plowing takes approximately eight hours.  This does not include alleys, public parking, city facilities, the airport, special access needs, etc.  Actual clean-up time will correspond to the amount and type of snowfall.  
  • Snow removal will begin when the snowfall begins to cease.  This avoids ineffective use of manpower, fuel, and equipment.
  • Main thoroughfares are the priority in order to provide a means for general traffic to travel to school, work, etc.  These include snow routes such as Central, Main, East Edgar, and Northeast and Southeast Fourth Street, which require more time because of their width.         
  • Every effort is made to avoid piling of snow in front of drives, lanes and access areas; however, some piling of snow in these areas is inevitable.  Snow has to be moved somewhere.  These areas are revisited and attended to as quickly as possible after streets have been cleared.  
  • Vehicles parked along designated snow routes and prohibited parking areas inhibit progress because they necessitate arrangements for vehicle removal. Snow-plowing is interrupted in the meantime. Cooperation of vehicle owners is of vital importance.  
  • Parking in and near alleys hinders access by snow plows, and delays progress.   
  • To salt and sand all city streets takes approximately two hours.  
  • Factors which influence the efficiency of snow removal are equipment breakdowns, the level of cooperation of local traffic in keeping interference with the work to a minimum, the amount of snowfall, and weather conditions such as ice or blowing and drifting snow.  

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City of Casey Water Supply

The City of Casey’s public water supply was installed by the City around 1908. Water was taken from a reservoir which had been formed by building a dam across a small ravine in the southeastern part of the city now known as Casey Fairview Park. The area of the reservoir was four acres and the tributary drainage area about one square mile. In the summer of 1916, there were about 270 service connections but no water was supplied at that time except for fire purposes on account of the scarcity of water. In that same year, the first wells were drilled in the bottom lands of the North Fork of the Embarrass River. This water source has since furnished the entire city’s water supply. The well field is located in Section 19, five miles east of Casey and two miles south of old Route 40 on twenty-seven acres. 

The City has developed a total of 13 wells dating back to 1916. Wells 1 through 10 have been sealed and abandoned. The City’s water is currently secured from four wells, Wells No. 11, 12, 13 and 14. Well No. 14 was constructed in 2012.

  • Well 11 was constructed in 1977 to a depth of 89 feet and currently produces 280 gpm.
  • Well 12 was constructed in 1982 to a depth of 82 feet and currently produces 400 gpm.
  • Well 13 was constructed in 1989 to a depth of 77 feet and currently produces 250 gpm.
  • Well 14 was constructed in 2012 to a depth of 82 feet and currently produces 450 gpm.

The average daily withdrawal from the well field is 425,000 gallons per day with two of the three wells running in combination. The 27-acre well field’s maximum withdrawal is rated at 800,000 gallons per day. 

City of Casey Treatment Facility

The existing treatment facility was built in 1985. The water treatment plant is capable of producing 520 gallons per minute, or 748,800 gallons per day. Water is pumped by the wells to an induced draft type aerator at the head of the plant and then discharges to a detention tank. The plant has two high service pumps, one used as lead pump and the other used as backup. The pumps are used to transfer the water from the detention tank through the pressure filter and into the ten-inch transmission main leaving the plant. 

The pressure filter is eight feet in diameter and twenty-four feet in length and is used as a means of iron removal. The filter contains four cells of equal volume where water is distributed evenly at a pressure of approximately 150 psi through a sand media of various gradations. The filter area per cell is 44.75 sq. ft.

The plant has equipment to feed chlorine and fluoride to the filtered water. These chemicals are added just prior to the water leaving the treatment plant.

City of Casey Distribution System Storage

The treated water is pumped through a ten-inch transmission line to the existing 500,000 gallons ground-storage tank located on East Washington Street as well as to customers between the water plant and the ground-storage tank. From the ground-storage tank, water is pumped to the 500,000 gallon water tower located on North Route 49. The tower is 152 feet tall, and gravity feeds the distribution system at a beginning pressure of 60 psi. When the tower water level decreases to 137 feet, it will signal the ground-storage pumping facility. The ground-storage valves switch, allowing one of the two high-service pumps at the pumping facility to pump water from the ground-storage tank to the water tower. When the tower water level reaches capacity, the pump shuts off and the valves switch back automatically. 

City of Casey Water Department Personnel

The City of Casey Water Department has five full-time employees which include the Superintendent of Utilities (Licensed designated operator for the water system), meter reader, plant operator, water distribution system foreman, and technician. These employees operate and maintain the water wells, the water plant, the tanks and pumps in the water distribution system. 

The plant operator is responsible for operating and maintaining the water plant and wells, and daily and monthly lab testing required by the E.P.A.

The water system foreman and technician are responsible for installing new water services, flushing water hydrants one time per year, meter change outs, repairing water leaks in the system, and replacing water mains or constructing new water mainlines.

The meter reader is responsible for reading customers’ water meters one time per month. The City has a total of 2,116 water meters/customers. All of the water meters are read in approximately twenty-one days and entered into the meter-reader’s hand-held computer as meters are read. This information is down-loaded by the City Collector for billing purposes.

The Superintendent of Utilities is the City’s designated water plant/system operator and is a licensed operator through Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The superintendent is responsible for submitting monthly reports to the E.P.A., new construction planning, E.P.A. permitting, system maintenance, and annual budgeting for the water department.

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City of Casey Wastewater Treatment Plant

The City of Casey’s wastewater treatment plant was built in 1980 and was originally design for a population of 4,200. The plant was designed to treat an average daily flow of 400,000 gallons per day and a maximum flow of one million gallons per day. Currently the plant’s average daily flow is 400,000 gallons per day.

The effluent from the wastewater treatment plant is discharged into the Quarry Branch which is a tributary to the Embarrass River. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency issued a discharge permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) for the City of Casey to operate the wastewater treatment plant. The discharge parameters include: biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, ammonia nitrogen, fecal coliform, phosphorus, and pH. The City of Casey is required to renew the NPDES permit every five years.

Process Description

Primary Treatment Process 

Sewage enters the treatment plant through an eighteen-inch interceptor sewer. Once the flow enters the plant it passes through a comminutor. The comminutor shreds the solids and floating objects down to a size which can pass through the openings of the screen, thus not requiring their removal from the flow. The size of the clear openings of the comminutor is 3/8 inch and the equipment has a flow capacity of 4.6 million gallons per day. Once the flow goes through the comminutor it must then pass through a trash rack which consists of a series of aluminum parallel bars. Objects larger than the ¾ inch opening between the bars collect on the rack, impede the sewage flow, and must be removed manually. This is common after dry weather followed by a storm event, or “first flush” of the sewer system where trash, debris, grass clippings, and brush that are in the sewer pipes get washed down to the sewer plant. 

Once the flow passes through the trash rack the flow is immediately separated into two equal flows by means of a dividing wall called a “Parshall Flume”.  The  Parshall Flume’s channels are six inches across and allow the quantity of flow to be determined by measuring the depth of flow. Flow is measured and a pulse duration signal is transmitted to a two pen recorder in the laboratory. Flow through each Parshall Flume is recorded separately. In addition, the two flows are summated and the total flow is recorded in the laboratory on a 24 hour circular chart.          

Secondary Treatment Process

The secondary treatment system employs an activated sludge process for a high degree of removal of BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) and suspended solids. “Activated sludge” is sludge particles produced in raw or settled wastewater by the growth of organisms in aeration tanks in the presence of dissolved oxygen. The term “activated” comes from the fact that the particles are teaming with bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Activated sludge contains many living organisms which can feed on the incoming wastewater.

The “activated sludge process” is a biological treatment process which speeds up the decomposition of wastes in the wastewater being treated. Activated sludge is added to wastewater and the mixture (mixed liquor) is aerated and agitated. After some time in the aeration tank, the activated sludge is allowed to settle out by sedimentation and is disposed of (wasted) or reused (returned to the reaeration tank) as needed. The remaining wastewater then undergoes more treatment. 

Flows through the Parshall Flume are piped to the circular tanks commonly referred to as “contact stabilization tanks” to begin the activated sludge process. The north side of the Parshall Flume flows to the north tank’s contact zone (Section A), and the south side of the Parshall Flume flows to the south tank (Section A).  Incoming raw sewage is constantly mixed with the activated sludge and then settled into the clarifier’s (Section B). The settled activated sludge is routinely drawn from the bottom of the final clarifier to a separate reaeration tank (Section C) for reaeration before it is returned to the aerated contact tank for mixing with incoming raw sewage. The clear water from the clarifier gravity flows over the weirs of the final clarifier into the plant building for ammonia nitrogen removal.          

Ammonia Nitrogen Removal

 Ammonia Nitrogen Removal is accomplished by a Bio-Surf process. It consists of large-diameter corrugated plastic media on a horizontal shaft (Commonly called Rotating Biological Contactors – R.B.C units) and placed in a concrete tank. The media is slowly rotated while approximately 40 % of the surface area is submerged in the wastewater. The rotating discs provide support for the mixed liquor suspended solids. This large microbial population achieves high degrees of nitrogen removal.     Sewage flow is directed from the clarifier through a secondary splitter box to two R.B.C units. The flow first enters a single stage unit of 150,000 sq. ft. surface area and proceeds through a two stage unit, each 72,000 sq. ft. of surface area.          

Filtration

Discharge from the R.B.C. units is collected in an area between the two units.  The treated sewage is then transferred to two filtration units through a six inch force main by 350 gpm pumps. Two submersible pumps, each 350 gpm, are controlled by float switches. The float switches are located in the sump between the R.B.C. units and are activated by rising water level.

Two filter cells are provided, each 13’ 4” in diameter and are designed for a dosing rate of 1.24 gpm/sq. ft. or 173.1 gpm each. The filter media is a six layer bed composed of varying gradations of sand and anthracite. 

Partially treated sewage is pumped to the top of the filter cell and filters down through the media to the bottom of the filter cell where it is collected in an underdrain system. The underdrain discharges to a manifold which empties into a chlorine contact tank and then gravity flows through the chlorine contact tank and then is discharged in to the creek.

Backwash of each filter cell is controlled by activation of a backwash pump by detection of high water level in any one of the filter cells. During the first two minutes of backwash an air scour system provides additional agitation of the media. Backwash water and waste is collected in backwash troughs and transmitted through a fourteen-inch pipe to the storm retention basin.          

Sludge Digestion

The digested sludge is drawn from the digester by sludge pumps located in the filter building and transmitted through a four-inch line to the sludge drying beds. Sludge is pumped through a flocculation chamber known as the “Deskins Flocculation Chamber”. Through this chamber a polymer is introduced in to the sludge to allow the separation of water and the sludge. Once the sludge leaves the chamber it is poured out on to the sludge drying beds. The water from the sludge drains down through the sand in the beds to an underdrain system where it then gravity drains to a pump station on the south end of the beds. From here the water is pumped back to the head of the plant to be treated again. The sludge is allowed to dry to a moisture content of approximately ten percent where it is then removed from the bed with a loader and placed in a dumpster for landfill disposal.    

Storm Holding Tank

To achieve final effluent quality requirements by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for treatment of storm water bypass flow, this plant depends on a storm water sedimentation tank.

The storm holding tank will hold up to 180,000 gallons of storm flow. Adjustable weirs direct any overflow through a 21-inch pipe to the Parshall flume located adjacent to the chlorine contact tank. During periods of storm water overflow, the float actuated metering device located in the flume ahead of the chlorine tank will activate chlorine booster pumps. This storm overflow flows directly to the creek after chlorination.

Two 100 gpm submersible pumps are located within the storm holding tank. These pumps transfer all accumulated storm flow from the holding tank through a six-inch line to the Parshall Flume located at the beginning of the treatment process. When the pumps are activated, the storm water transfer pumps continue to dewater the storm water holding tank until the low level float control turns off the pump.

Sewer Plant Personnel

The City of Casey’s sewer treatment plant requires three employees to operate the plant. The Superintendent of Utilities is the designated plant operator and is licensed by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to operate the plant. His responsibilities include having a thorough understanding of the treatment plant process, evaluation of its operation, monthly reports submitted to the E.P.A., maintenance, planning and budgeting for future improvements and construction, and working with plant personnel to achieve a properly run plant and the best effluent possible.

The Sewer Plant Foreman’s responsibilities include the day-to-day activities at the sewer plant. He is responsible for the operation of the plant, maintenance to the plant, daily sampling of sewage, effluent, laboratory testing and record keeping, grounds maintenance, and lift station inspections and maintenance.

The sewer plant technician’s responsibilities include working with the plant foreman in plant maintenance, lab testing, and plant operation. His responsibilities also include grounds maintenance and lift station inspections and maintenance.     

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The City of Casey Natural Gas System

The City of Casey’s natural gas system was installed along with that of the City of Marshall and the City of Martinsville in 1965.  All three cities share the same distribution line.  The natural gas originates in the Gulf of Mexico and is transported through the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, which in turn transfers to Midwestern Pipeline.

The City of Casey’s pipeline responsibility begins at the west edge of Marshall, IL and continues west to Casey. Casey’s customers extend from Marshall to Casey, including Bass Lake and Clark Center. Casey has approximately 1900 customers, including 315 outside the city limits.

The line between Marshall and Casey is a six-inch high pressure distribution line that runs through Martinsville with a pressure of approximately 290 psi. There are approximately 90 high pressure farm taps along this line. They take the high pressure and reduce it to a lower pressure suitable for residential and commercial usage.

At the city regulator station located east on Washington Road, the 290 psi is reduced down to 25 psi for distribution throughout the city. A 6-inch mainline loops through the city with 2-inch, 3-inch and 4-inch feedlines extending out to supply gas to houses and businesses.

From 1964 to 1998, all gas lines installed were specially coated steel lines. In 1998, the City of Casey began installing plastic gas lines. All underground steel gas lines in the system are protected from corrosion by cathodic protection. Cathodic protection is a process in which a direct current is impressed onto the pipe by means of a rectifier. The City of Casey has six rectifiers throughout its system. This cathodic protection must be monitored monthly by the department.

City of Casey Gas Department Personnel

The City of Casey Gas Department has three full-time employees, which include the Superintendent of Utilities, gas department foreman and gas department technician.

The Superintendent of Utilities is the City’s designated system operator. The Superintendent is responsible for submitting monthly and annual reports, new construction planning, system management and compliance, annual budgeting for the gas department, and purchasing of natural gas through the Illinois Public Energy Agency.

The Gas Department Foreman and Gas Technician are responsible for the operation and maintenance of existing services and mains, installation of new services and mains, meter change outs, odor and carbon monoxide (CO) investigations, monthly cathodic protection maintenance, yearly leak surveys on business and residential customers, and extensive recordkeeping which includes the Operation and Maintenance Manual, Public Awareness Program, Damage Prevention Program, Regulator Station Maintenance, mapping updates and Operator Qualification Plan.  One gas department employee is required to be on call twenty-four hours a day for utility-related emergencies.

The Illinois Commerce Commission and the Gas Utility Alliance audit recordkeeping and field conditions annually for compliance.

The City of Casey gas department personnel are required to receive ongoing training and certification sessions, and belong to the OKAW Valley Gas Association, which is a group of fourteen communities organized for the purpose of mutual support, as well as the Gas Utilities Alliance.

Under federal regulations, the City of Casey gas department employees are required to pass an Operator Qualification Program, which consists of the passing of more than fifty written and hands-on testing courses on subjects ranging from the operation of a regulator station to the installation of mains and services and the investigation of customer leaks. These employees must re-qualify every three years to maintain their credentials.           

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The City of Casey Power Plant

The City of Casey is a member of the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA). In 2000 per their contract agreement with Ameren CIPS, the IMEA was required to provide 80 MegaWatts of electric power in the Central Illinois region that Ameren could not provide. The IMEA, a joint action agency formed by many towns such as Casey, offered to install 80 MW of power to a handful of municipalities that applied and were in need. The IMEA agreed, if the cities paid for the generators and building construction that the IMEA would, through monthly capacity credits on their electric bills, pay the City back for the cost of the generators. This will take place over a twenty-six year period.

The City of Casey was one of many applicants for the generators. We applied for six generators and received three. At that time our peak load was approximately 11 MW during the summer. Fortunately, the City of Casey was awarded three generators which would supply 5.475 MW.

The generators are classified by the IMEA as peak demand generators. This means that the City of Casey can only generate power when the IMEA calls for it during a time when electric costs are very high on the stock market, when a disaster occurs causing loss of power, or when the city loses its electric feed from Ameren CIPS. The City cannot sell electricity back to Ameren CIPS from these generators under the agreement between the IMEA and the City of Casey.

The generators are Caterpillar Model 3516B Diesel Generators. The plate rating on each generator is 1,825 kW for a total of 5,475 kW or 5.475 MW of available power. These generators do not automatically kick on when power is lost.  When power is lost, Electric Department personnel must go to the plant and manually start up the generators, and stay with the generators to monitor the engines’ performance. These personnel are also responsible for switching the main breakers to allow the generated electricity to feed the circuits of Casey. Generally speaking, when power is lost the electric department can have generated power turned on within ten to fifteen minutes. The generators have the capability of supplying power to the north and south substations.

The generators are exercised off line for thirty minutes once per month as required by the IMEA contract, to assure that there are no mechanical problems with the equipment. The IMEA reimburses the City for any diesel fuel used during the exercises. The IMEA also annually performs URGE testing on each generator to determine the capacity output of each unit.

The City of Casey Power Plant was built in 2002 at a cost of $1.3 Million, all of which will be reimbursed over a twenty-six year period.             

Electric Department Personnel

The Electric Department is composed of four employees.  The Superintendent of Utilities supervises the department, which also consists of the Electric Department Foreman and two technicians.  The Foreman and technicians are all trained and capable in the operation of the power plant, which is only a small portion of their responsibilities in the electric utility system.

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