News/Events

Happy New Year and Plant Tour

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a safe and healthy holiday season.

I recently enjoyed an informative tour of the Clavey Road Sewage Treatment Plant, one of the three major wastewater treatment facilities operated by the North Shore Water Reclamation District. I was accompanied by Highland Park City Manager Ghida Neukirch and Councilpersons Andrés Tapia and Annette Lidawer. As the plant is located in Highland Park, the mutual cooperation between the city and the district continues to be a great service for the people and the community.

Using Wasterwater to Detect COVID

Communities across the U.S., including Lake County, through the North Shore Water Reclamation District, are using wastewater surveillance as an early warning system for COVID-19, as mentioned in this very interesting report recently from NPR (https://www.npr.org/…/1062493635/testing-omicron-in-sewage). As a trustee of the NSWRD representing Highland Park, Highwood, and parts of Lake Forest, I’m glad to see this important work receiving some national media attention, and I agree with a recent statement from the Rockefeller Foundation that this type of surveillance is beneficial because it allows researchers to identify variants, such as omicron, at the local level. The more we know about where omicron is and where it’s spreading, the smarter we can be about knowing what we can do to keep our communities safe.

New District Map Coming Soon

Hi friends and constituents! The new map for the five wards of the North Shore Water Reclamation District (NSWRD) has been voted on by the Trustees and will be finalized by the Lake County Board by December 31. I am pleased to announce that the borders for Ward 5, which I have been representing, will remain largely the same, with just a small number of people added to it. In case you missed it, on Nov. 23 I announced my re-election bid. I look forward to continuing to serve the more than 300,000 total constituents of the District, including the residents who live in or who soon be joining my district (Highland Park, Highwood, and parts of Lake Forest), with the same level of hard work, attention to detail, and study that I have dedicated myself to in this current term.

Re-Election Announcement

I have exciting news! Today I am announcing my candidacy for re-election as Trustee of the North Shore Water Reclamation District. Since my election as a Trustee in November of 2020, I have been working diligently on many issues concerning wastewater treatment, including seeking ways to adapt treated wastewater for use in alternative sources such as irrigation of farmland; finding ways to reduce phosphorus, which can inadvertently seep into clean water and ultimately can destroy some marine life; and taking part in federal and state sampling and monitoring of wastewater for early signs of potential virus outbreaks.

I am running for re-election because I truly believe that treating wastewater is critical for public health and vital to a healthy environment. I have enjoyed being actively engaged in the issues and look forward to earning your vote. For more information please visit my website at https://rhodapierce.org, follow me on Facebook at Rhoda Pierce, North Shore Water Reclamation District Trustee, or on follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RhodaTrustee.

Infastructure Bill Passes

Great news! Congress has just passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill; it is now headed to President Biden for signature into law. The legislation calls for spending $55 billion on water and wastewater infrastructure, with $15 billion set aside to replace lead pipes and $1 billion directed toward water recycling and reuse, the process of treating wastewater to make it available for new uses such as irrigation.

October 2021 Update

Hi friends and followers! It’s been a busy start to the fall with lots going on with the North Shore Water Reclamation District (NSWRD) and Ward 5, which I represent and which includes all of Highland Park, Highwood, as well as parts of Deerfield, Bannockburn, and Lake Forest.

One project currently under review is an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) road project that will impact a major sewer main at the Cary Avenue pumping station west of Rosewood Beach in Highland Park. The NSWRD is currently working closely with IDOT on the design of the project. (That’s the North Shore Sanitary District Tower, which sits above the Cary station, pictured below. The 50-foot functional tower provides ventilation and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.)

North Shore Sanitary District Tower

Some neighbors in Highland Park recently expressed concerns about unpleasant odors emanating from the NSWRD’s Clavey Road facility. Work taking place in another part of Lake County, which necessitated diverting some sewage flow to the Clavey plant, created the odor issue. The necessary repairs have now been completed and the flow has been directed back to the original source. There have been no additional odor concerns since that remediation effort. The district is considering the possibility of obtaining and managing a contact list so that proactive and post-incident communications can be issued to residents and businesses whenever there is a possibility that odors may occur.

Congratulations to Debra Shore, who has been a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Commissioner since 2006. President Joe Biden recently appointed Shore as the Midwest regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one of the biggest offices for the country’s top environmental enforcer, tackling thousands of air, water, and land pollution issues in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin as well as lands of 35 federally recognized tribes in those states. Debra is a great choice for the job and will continue to be an excellent steward of the environment.

August 2021 Update

Hi friends and supporters. I hope your summer has been going well and you’ve made some time to enjoy the outdoors and reconnect with family and friends.

I am pleased to report about a new project and connection. The North Shore Water Reclamation District and the comparable department in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a Sister City of Highland Park, are teaming up to find common ground for presenting an educational wastewater program. This program will familiarize residents in both cities with the importance of wastewater treatment with respect to good health and a livable environment.

And, I might have written about this before, but it is worth repeating. Keep in mind that “flushable” wipes, no matter what is written on the package, are not designed for sewer systems. When they are flushed, they form solid lumps that do not break down, causing sewage backups and street flooding. There are currently no federal laws prohibiting flushing wipes. We all have to do our part to prevent such clogging to happen.

NSWRD Holds In-Person Meeting

Juky 14 was an exciting day, as I was incredibly pleased to be able to meet in-person with my North Shore Water Reclamation District colleagues for our July meeting. It was the first in-person session we have had since the start of the pandemic. Making it doubly exciting, we were able to honor the engineer whose division won the coveted Gold Peak Performance award. The honor comes from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and was given to the Clavey Road Water Reclamation Facility in Highland Park in recognition of its complete and consistent permit compliance during 2020 calendar year.

Congressman Schneider Endorsement

I am beyond excited to receive an endorsement from Congressman Brad Schneider. Thank you for recognizing my commitment to public health and the environment. Please make sure you vote to send Brad back to DC. He has been and will continue to be a tireless advocate for all of us in the IL 10th.

#DownBallotTakeOver

Thank you to Illinois 58th District State Rep. Bob Morgan for generously allowing me to “take over” his social media accounts this week in order to spread the word about my campaign. Follow along on Twitter or Facebook and please continue to support Bob, who does–and will continue to do–an excellent job representing our district.

HP Councilwoman Stone Endorsement

Thank you Highland Park Councilwoman Kim Stone for the endorsement! To see Kim’s full list of endorsements and for more information on your voting options, check out her full newsletter here.

Help Spread the Word

The forecast looks great all week, so we’ll be going door-to-door this weekend to drop off our latest campaign flier. We’d love to have you join us. It’s a great way to get those steps in! Reach out to us at info@rhodapierce.org

Yard Signs Are In!

Let us know if we can put one in your yard. Send a request to info@rhodapierce.org

Personal PAC Endorsement

I am honored and thrilled to have received the endorsement of Personal PAC, Illinois’ leading pro-choice political organization. For more information visit: https://www.personalpac.org/endorsements/

Virtual Meet the Candidate

When: Thursday, September 17, 2020, from 7:00 – 8:00pm

Where: Online via Zoom.

What: The West Deerfield Township Democrats are sponsoring a virtual Meet the Candidate with Rhoda. To RSVP and get the Zoom link, email Philip.arouca@yahoo.com or visit https://tinyurl.com/y4dbx435.

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