Who We Are

How We Use Microbiology To Help Sustain Life in Our Cities and Critical Watersheds

Up until 2020, you knew us as Rock River Water Reclamation District. But, in 2020, we executed a long-overdue name and graphic identity change in favor of our new name, Four Rivers Sanitation Authority (FRSA). Why?  Because, we believe it’s important for our professional team to be known for what they truly are: skilled biologists, chemists and committed boots-on-the-ground environmentalists who keep our critical regional watersheds safe and healthy. 

The truth is, were it not for the science and hard work of our staff, most of our region would be practically unlivable – not just for humans, but all species living within the Rock, Kishwaukee, Pecatonica and Sugar river watersheds. Without the work of organizations like FRSA, modern society simply could not thrive. 

Our job is to collect waste water, remove all liquid and solid contaminants, and return fresh water (high in dissolved oxygen) to the Rock River. Simply put, it’s a story that starts anew every time a citizen flushes a toilet or un-pure substances are otherwise injected into the sewers we manage. 

That is why our new logo suggests a drop of water becoming incrementally more pure – because that is exactly what happens to contaminated water once it enters our plant on a daily basis. 

Every day, in the service of 240,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers, we treat 40 million gallons of contaminated waste water – totaling 1.5 billion gallons each year. That water is returned to our environment at a level of near-drinkable purity that would amaze you if you saw it when it enters FRSA’s facility. The transformation is possible thanks to the skillful application of microbiological science … 

Literally around the clock at our Kishwaukee Street plant, trillions of tiny “bugs” do the yeoman’s work of breaking down unsanitary waste as it winds its way through our many buildings and processing tanks. Visit our Community Impact section for detailed information on how the practice of state-of-the-art sanitation science helps sustain life in our communities and critical watersheds. 

But we do much more than just purify water. When the bugs are doing their magic, they produce methane gas. We burn that gas, producing electric energy that fuels about 70% of our daily operations, saving money for our customers and lessening our carbon footprint. Each year we also convert about 11,000 tons of solid waste into a bio-solid fertilizer coveted by local farmers. They apply the material to their feed corn and other crops for non-human consumption. 

The men and women of Four Rivers Sanitation Authority are proud to do our parts in protecting our regions’ precious watersheds now and for future generations. If you have any questions about our operations or wish to share ideas – or, if you would like to arrange an educational visit for your school or group, please Contact Us. We look forward to hearing from you.