Buried barrels found in S. Beloit

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SOUTH BELOIT - About 30 barrels containing an unidentified substance were dug up during the construction for the expanded South Beloit waste water treatment plant.

South Beloit Public Works Superintendent Jeff Reininger said the barrels, which were buried behind the old street department garage near the existing sewer plant, were discovered about three weeks ago. He said the contents smell like a petroleum product, but testing is underway to determine what is in the barrels.

Engineers from Fehr Graham, the city's engineering firm, collected samples of the barrels' contents and officials from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were notified of the discovery.

EPA officials also collected samples, Reininger said.

He said he did not know how long the barrels had been buried on the site.

Once test results are complete, a news release will be issued, Reininger said.

The South Beloit Waste Water Treatment Plant, at 100 Perry Ave., is undergoing a $34 million expansion and upgrade project. A groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held in June.

River City Construction based in Peoria, Illinois, was awarded the contract for the sewer plant construction and the project is expected to take about two years to complete.

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