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HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS
The Sanitary District of Bloom township was formed in June 1928.  E. Harry Ashdown was appointed district engineer, serving in the position until 1936.
Walter L. Ashdown, Harry's brother, was appointed the District's first superintendent in 1936.
In 1945, South Chicago Heights was annexed by the District.
The first properties in Park Forest were annexed in 1947.
Major expansion of the District's plant in Chicago Heights were completed in 1956.
J. Edward Meers was appointed district manager in 1952, replacing Walter L. Ashdown who served the District 16 years.
Major improvements and additional expansion f the treatment plant were completed in 1970.
The Board of Trustees in 1975 voted to annex the villages of Crete and Steger into the District.
In 1976 the District was honored for having the "best operated Illinois treatment plant" serving 50,000 or more residents.
Also in 1976, James L. Daugherty was appointed by the Board of Trustees to succeed J. Edward Meers.
The District changed its name to Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District in 1979.
The Village of Homewood was annexed into the District in 1983.
In May of 2008 Jennifer Hindel was appointed by the Board of Trustees to succeed James L. Daugherty who served the District for 35 years.  

The Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District, originally known as The Sanitary District of Bloom Township, includes six municipalities: Chicago Heights, South Chicago Heights, Homewood, Park Forest, Crete and Steger; in four townships: Bloom, Rich, Monee and Crete; in two counties: Cook and Will.

The Sanitary District's beginning dates back to April, 1928, when the Cook County Court was successfully petitioned for the formation of the District. Following an election in early June of that year, the first Trustees were appointed June 25, 1928. The District's incorporation was approved in accordance with the State of Illinois statutes established in 1917.  

E. Harry Ashdown was appointed District Engineer in 1928 and served until 1936.

As originally formed, the District's general boundaries were: Torrence Avenue on the east; Glenwood­-Dyer, Glenwood-Lansing Roads on the north; Western Avenue on the west; and the Cook-Will County line on the south. In the ensuing years, some of the original areas disconnected from the District; certain areas returned and new areas were annexed.  

Prior to the Sanitary District's formation, the area's first wastewater treatment, and one of the first munici­pal treatment plants in Illinois, was built in 1907 by the City of Chicago Heights. Originally constructed as a Cameron septic tank and contact bed, it was converted to an Imhoff tank and trickling filter treatment plant in 1921.  The filter treatment plant could service a capacity of 18,000 people.  

After the formation of the Sanitary District, funds became available by late 1933, to construct an activa­ted sludge treatment plant. It was built and placed into operation in January, 1937.  

On October 5, 1936 Walter L. Ashdown was appointed as Superintendent of the District.  

It was 17 years later before major capital improvements were required. On November 3, 1953, voters of the Sanitary District approved a bond issue for expansion of the treatment plant. Consoer, Townsend and Asso­ciates, Consulting Engineers, Chicago, were retained to prepare plans and specifications for the addition. Con­struction was begun in November, 1954, and completed in November, 1956.  

Walter L Ashdown continued to serve the District until May 1, 1952 when J Edward Meers was appointed by the Board of Trustees as Manager.  

In 1958 the District financed and constructed a new 90,000 cubic foot capacity Digester and in November, 1961, construction was completed on a new garage and service building.  

Mid-1966 marked the beginning of a decade of major improvements and expansion of the District's total physical plant. On June 4, 1966 voters of the Sanitary District approved a $2.9 million bond issue for treatment plant improvements. Baxter and Woodman, Inc., Civil and Sanitary Engineers, Crystal Lake, Illinois, were retained to prepare plans and specifications. Construction of the expansion began in July, 1967, and was completed in November, 1970.  

A $26,500 planning grant was awarded the District by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Devel­opment (HUD) for an engineering study of a 25,000 acre area south of the District. Bauer Engineering Company, Chicago, was retained to conduct the study entitled "Regional Wastewater Plan" for portions of southeastern Cook County and northeastern Will County. It was completed and presented to the District's Board of Trustees on December 3, 1970.  

In October, 1970 land was purchased for $200,000 and contracts were awarded for an $857,000 sludge disposal project, which included construction of a sludge force main, sludge lagoon and pumping facilities. The total project was completed and placed into operation in October, 1971.  

Baxter and Woodman, Inc., were retained to prepare a study and preliminary report on Advance Treatment Facilities and Excessive Storm Water Treatment Facilities. An Engineers' report, dated April, 1972; a supple­mental Engineers' report dated December, 1973, and a third report on Wastewater Characteristics were submitted in April, 1974.  

Also, submitted at that time was a regional study and report on Sanitary Interceptor Sewers and Pump Station Improvements covering the Villages of Crete and Steger and the southern portion of the Village of Park Forest. The study and report was developed by Consoer, Townsend and Associates.

Warren and Van Praag, Inc., Consulting Engineers, Decatur and Chicago, were retained in December, 1973, to conduct two studies; the first, an infiltration/inflow study and the second, a User Charge and industrial cost recovery system study.  

On May 6, 1975, voters approved by more than a 4 to 1 margin a $2.75 million bond issue for the con­struction of Advanced Treatment Facilities to meet new state and federal water quality standards. The amount represented the 25% local share of the total estimated cost of the project; federal and state grants provided the re­maining 75%.  

On October 20, 1975, the District's Board of Trustees voted to annex the Villages of Crete and Steger. Both communities had previously approved measures to become a part of the Sanitary District.

J. Edward Meers, Manager of the Sanitary District for 24 years, resigned November 1, 1975, and was re­tained as a consultant.

In late September, 1975, bids were received and reviewed for the extension of sanitary sewer mains, to service the Villages of Crete and Steger. On December 15, 1975, the Board of Trustees awarded contracts for the construction of the Regional Interceptor Sewer project.

In October, 1975, bids were received and reviewed for the construction of the Advanced Treatment Facilities and it was in December that a contract was awarded for the construction of this project.  The bid construction costs for the two projects was approximately $14.7 million; this amount was approximately $4.0 million below the engineers' estimated cost.  

In April, 1976, the Sanitary District of Bloom Township was designated the "best operated treatment plant" in Illinois among all municipalities serving 50,000 and more persons. The award was made by the Illinois Association of Water Pollution Control Operators on the basis of an independent engineering evaluation by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.  

James L. Daugherty was appointed by the Board of Trustees as Manager to replace J Edward Meers on November 15, 1976.

Due to the expanding service area and confusion over identity, the name of the Sanitary District of Bloom Township was officially changed to the Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District on September 17, 1979 and filed with the Circuit Court of Cook county and the State of Illinois.

In April, 1979, bids were received ,reviewed and awarded for the construction of an excess flow treatment facility which provided treatment for storm flows and construction started in June, 1979.

On April 28, 1983, the District's Board of Trustees voted to annex the Village of Homewood.

In 1990, the Water Pollution Control Federation awarded the William D. Hatfield Award to James L Daugherty of Central States Water Pollution Control Association in recognition of outstanding performance in works operation, management and advancement of knowledge in the field of water pollution control.  

The Radebaugh Award was awarded to James L Daugherty by the CSWEA in recognition of authoring the technical presentation judged to be the best demonstration of knowledge and advancement of the science at the 1996 association annual meeting.

Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District received title to the former Homewood Treatment Plant as a governmental contribution with  an assessed value of $2,477,520 on April, 30, 2002 to use as an excess flow facility. 

In 2006, Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District began construction of a 26 million gallon Wet Weather Retention Facility for the temporary storage of wastewater during peak rainfall periods.  The cost of the project was approximately  $5.4 million. The project was completed near at the end of 2007.  The project is funded by a 2.5%, 20 year low interest IEPA loan.  The District had no debt since 1990.

Jennifer Hindel was appointed by the Board of Trustees as the Assistant Manager.

The unincorporated area known as the Holbrook area of Chicago Heights was annexed by the District in 2007.  Sewers were needed to mitigate continuing pollution of Butterfield Creek by septic tank overflow.  Construction began in September 2007 and the project was completed in September 2007 at a cost of approximately $1.5 million.  The project is funded by a 2.5%, 20 year low interest IEPA loan.  

Jennifer Hindel was appointed as Manager by the Board of Trustees on May 3, 2008 after James L. Daugherty retired from the District after over 35 years of service. 

In 2009, the District relined approximately one mile of the South Regional Trunk Sewer.  The cost of the project was $633,440.  The  project was funded by an IEPA loan and a grant awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  One-half of the total $316,720 ARRA funds, $158,360, was a grant.  The remaining  $475,080 cost is a zero percent,  twenty year IEPA loan. 

 

 

     
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