Illinois American Water begins Combined Sewer System Separation, Installing over Six Miles of Sanitary Sewer Main

Alton, Ill. – March 4, 2021 – Illinois American Water is kicking off three significant projects to separate portions of the wastewater system from the stormwater system.  Over six miles of sanitary sewer main will be installed in the Turner Tract, Shields Valley and Piasa Valley areas of Alton.  The image below outlines project site locations.

 Alton CSO

 According to Ethan Steinacher, operations manager for the Central Division which includes the Alton service area, when Illinois American Water acquired the Alton Regional Wastewater system the company made a commitment to address requirements set forth by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to remedy combined sewer overflows. He said, “An investment of $50 million over a decade will be made to separate portions of the combined system.  This work supports wastewater service reliability and source water protection.”

The projects in Turner Tract and Shields Valley will start this month.  The work in Piasa Valley should begin in the coming months.  Due to the complexity involved with separating a combined sewer system, some of the work is expected to continue for over two years.

According to Steinacher, this does not mean work will occur in one area for 24 months, but rather, projects will continue to progress throughout neighborhoods during that time period.  He said, “This work is important for addressing the possibility of sewer overflows during significant rain events.  We look forward to getting started and making this important investment for Alton’s future.”

As work progresses, Illinois American Water and contractors working on behalf of the company will provide important updates to customers.  Communication efforts may include letters, postcards, door hangers and/or phone calls. Customers are encouraged to take note of these communications which will include important information.

Motorists should use caution, obey traffic signs and follow detour routes when driving in the area.  If possible, drivers should avoid this area. 

For the safety of employees and customers, customers are asked to not approach Illinois American Water employees or contractors while they are working in the field. Social distancing recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be followed.  Questions can be directed to the company’s customer service team at 800.422.2782. 

To learn more about the wastewater system long-term control plan, please visit under Water Quality/Wastewater and Alton District CSO Information.

Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville. For more information, visit and follow Illinois American Water on Twitter and Facebook.


About American Water

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable, and reliable water services to our customers to help make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts

Karen Cotton

External Affairs Manager