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Elburn OKs Blackberry Creek watershed plan

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 4:35 p.m. CDT

ELBURN – The village has become one of the first communities in Kane County to sign on to a plan designed to protect the water quality in Blackberry Creek.

Earlier this month, the Elburn Village Board unanimously adopted the Blackberry Creek Watershed Plan.

The plan was drafted during the last two years in an effort overseen by the Naperville-based Conservation Foundation and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, that involved representatives from a number of communities and landowners located within the Blackberry Creek watershed.

The watershed describes a land area in which rain water and surface water flows to a particular stream.

The Blackberry Creek watershed drains water from an area running from Campton Hills, south through Elburn, Sugar Grove and western Aurora, to Bristol Township in Kendall County. The watershed is generally located east of Route 47.

The creek channels the water that falls as rain or that runs along that ground to the Fox River near Yorkville.

The watershed plan lays out certain goals and policy recommendations for the creek.

Among these, the plan calls for reducing the amount of "fecal coliforms" – an indicator of bacterial contamination from human and animal waste; reducing the amounts of phosphorus, nitrogen and other nutrients in the stream flow; minimizing the amount of silt and sediment running into the creek, reducing the flood risk in the region, and protecting groundwater sources.

However, the plan particularly singles out fecal coliform contamination, calling for a specific reduction of 17 percent in the amount of that contamination in the stream. The plan notes that fecal coliform stands as the "only confirmed contaminant in Blackberry Creek."

Elburn Village President David Anderson said the village adopted the plan to endorse its "philosophy." He said the village intends to use the plan as a "guideline" when evaluating future development, and its impact on the local water resources.

He said the village does not believe it needs to change any of the water it puts into local waterways, as the discharge from its wastewater treatment plant is regulated by the state and federal environmental protection agencies and is discharged into Welch Creek.

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