A Sanitary District is a unique public entity. Like a School District, Library District, or Park District, we are a unit of local government that is separate from the City and State in which we reside.
Constructed in 1908
DeKalb’s first public sewer system was completed in 1908. It was enlarged to include septic tanks and stone filter beds in 1914.
Incorporated in 1928
A movement to “Kleen the Kish” was led by the Izaak Walton League in 1928. In response, the DeKalb Sanitary District was incorporated on July 12, 1928.
It was the 23rd District in Illinois incorporated under the Sanitary District Act of 1917. With its incorporation, the District became a governmental and taxing body distinct from the City of DeKalb.
Permitted in 1972
In 1972, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was formed. One of the earliest actions of the agency was to establish permits for “publicly owned treatment works” such as the treatment plant of the Sanitary District. The District holds National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit #IL0023027.
Took Over the City Sewer System in 1987
In 1987, the sanitary district reached an agreement with the City of DeKalb to take ownership of the entire system of sanitary sewer mains and manholes. From that time on, construction, repairs, and maintenance of the sewer mains and manholes has been the responsibility of the District.
Reorganized in 2016
Over the decades, the Sanitary District has evolved to meet the needs of our growing community and increasingly stringent environmental regulations.
The increasing burden of EPA regulations has been difficult for many smaller communities to absorb. Many find their municipal budgets suffering under the costs of upgrading and maintaining their wastewater treatment facilities.
In 2016, the DeKalb Sanitary District reorganized as the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District and launched plans to expand and improve the treatment plant. These moves reflected our ability to serve communities beyond the City of DeKalb, offering services to smaller local communities who are finding it’s no longer cost-effective to operate their own treatment plants.