History of Long Lake Pollution Problems
The May 2004 Squaw Creek Watershed Plan reported that water quality problems were "primarily noted for Long Lake, largely as a result of it receiving the effluent from the Lake Villa and Round Lake Sanitary District sewage treatment plants until they were phased out in the 1980s."
Yes, our area residents discontinued the use of septic sewer systems in the late 1970s and Lake Villa and Round Lake Sanitary District stopped sending its wastewater into our lake in the 1980s.
BUT THE POLLUTION DID NOT STOP!
In March 2001, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) held a meeting in Round Lake to obtain reaction from residents to Baxter Healthcare's request to renew its discharge permit. Residents asked Baxter to stop discharging their treated sewerage into a tributary flowing to Squaw Creek and into Long Lake. As a result of residents' objections, the Long Lake Improvement and Sanitation Association (LLISA) met for several months with Baxter representatives. Baxter informed the LLISA that due to the location of the public sanitary sewers in the region, and the capital outlay required, alternative options should be considered. A Press Release dated July 18, 2002 outlined the specific alternative actions that Baxter planned to take to address LLISA concerns. Baxter planned to use their treated wastewater to irrigate nursery land, and during winter months, the water was to be retained in a storage pond. (See Press Release) They also reported to the commission studying the Squaw Creek Watershed, and this plan was reported in the commission's report in May 2004. However, this plan was never put into effect, and for the past 15 years, the tributary leading right into Long Lake has been the recipient of Baxter's treated wastewater discharge averaging more than 250,000 gallons per day - the equivalent of 625+ homes (each with a family of four) discharging into Long Lake.
Baxter Healthcare manufacturing facility in Round Lake produces parenteral medication (IV solutions).