Wastewater Treatment Plant

What is the Water Reclamation Facility?

Since 1956, the Village of Deerfield has owned and operated a wastewater treatment plant known as the Water Reclamation Facility ( WRF), or the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant is located at 1045 Hackberry Road, and an innovative reconstruction of the facility was completed in 2013. The facility is designed to meet water quality requirements determined by the Illinois EPA ( IEPA).

Over the years, the equipment, staff and regulations have changed, but the results are the same - turning waste into a resource. Each day, regardless of conditions, the WRF treats approximately three million gallons of wastewater.

How does the WRF work?

The process begins with the collection of wastewater from each home or business in the Village. This is done via underground pipes and manholes that direct all of the flow to the WRF. The raw wastewater is pumped up into our headworks building where it is screened and de-gritted. The fine screens act as strainers, letting the liquid go through and pulling out plastics and paper products ( mostly wet wipes, or “flushable wipes,” which should, in fact, never be flushed).

Next, the grit or heavy inorganic material such as sand, egg shells, coffee grounds, etc. are settled out and removed. The wastewater then flows to aeration tanks where it is mixed in with millions and billions and trillions of bacteria and other micro-organisms that consume the organic material and turn it from dirty to clean.

This soup of microorganism filled water flows to the secondary clarifiers where the microorganisms settle to the bottom and the clear water comes off the top. This treated water flows down to the UV Disinfection channels where any remaining bacteria and viruses are destroyed by UV lights that are in the water, like an underwater tanning bed. Finally, this screened, de-gritted, biologically treated, clarified and disinfected water is discharged to the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River, which runs along the west side of the WRF.

What happens after the wastewater is treated?

The microorganisms and solids that settled in the clarifiers are constantly pumped back into the aeration tanks so that we have a steady supply of microorganisms ready to consume all of the organics that come into the WRF. A portion of these solids need to be removed from the treatment process to keep the WRF ecosystem healthy. This portion of the solids is sent to digesters where it is mixed and aerated to further break down, or digest, the material. After a number of weeks, the solids are dewatered in a centrifuge and stock piled in the WRF’s storage barn. This material is similar to the consistency of potting  soil and is referred to as “ biosolids.” Since biosolids are rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, two times a year the material is removed from the plant with semi trucks and spread onto agricultural fields. All operations, including land applying biosolids and discharging into the West Fork, are in compliance with IEPA rules and regulations.

How can I be notified when the WRF is removing biosolids?

Since there can be an increase of odors and truck traffic during the biosolids removal process, staff created an online email notification list to make residents aware of this operation in advance. You can sign up here. After entering your email and/ or cell phone number at the top of the page, click the envelope ( email) or cell phone ( text) icon next to Water Reclamation Facility Updates” under the “Notify Me” section.

Who can I contact about the WRF?

Contact Brandon Janes, P.E., Wastewater Superintendant, at 847.719.7447 or bjanes@deerfield.il.us.


Recently, the LEED Certified Administration Building at the WRF was dedicated to Barbara Little, the former Director of Public Works and Engineering who retired in June 2018.