Keeping our Region Clean & Green

Without the services provided by Four Rivers Sanitation Authority, modern society in the communities we serve would literally not be possible. Let your mind wander back to the open sewer practices of medieval times, when waste was literally dumped into trenches in the middle of city streets, and you will quickly understand what we mean. Life in unsanitary conditions is dirty, dangerous and ridden with disease.  

The water we use today is billions of years old, so its preservation and protection is of the utmost importance. The fact that we’re able to use water in the sanitation process and return it to the environment in such clean condition is amazing – but perhaps not quite so when you realize that much of the science and microbiology we use every day is straight out of Mother Nature’s ecological manual. She knows best and we listen to – and amplify – all her lessons. 

Four River Sanitation Authority not only keeps you, your family and our environment safe, but plays a critical role in our regional economic development processes. Our Four Rivers office is on the first-call list for nearly all businesses that wish to locate or expand in the communities we serve – as well as the government units that help facilitate such growth. For a detailed treatise on how we help nature work its magic as we “return fresh, clean water to our environment,” please visit our Wastewater Treatment page. 

In the process of doing our work, which is demanding from the perspectives of ingenuity, labor, equipment and energy – we do everything we can to operate sustainably and benefit the environment. We process waste and return clean, safe water to the Rock River. We generate fertilizer for regional farmers, and we cogenerate enough energy to power nearly half the operations of our Kishwaukee Street plant in Rockford, vastly lessening our carbon footprint in the process. For information on power cogeneration and fertilizer production via biosolids processing, please visit our Biosolids Processing and Sustainability pages. 


The water we use today is billions of years old, and our goal, like yours, is to ensure that our community does not waste its water by employing a time-tested system known as “nature’s way”. Here’s how we do it.


Through cogeneration, Four Rivers is able to provide competitiveness for industrial and commercial users and offer affordable heat for domestic users, while lowering emissions to the environment. To learn more about cogeneration, and how it’s employed by Four Rivers, check out our Biosolids Processing page.


Our Executive Director, Tim Hanson, said it best, “Whether it’s our use of biology to produce the methane we use to help run our plant, the bio-solid fertilizer we produce for use by local farmers, or our leadership role in the Rock River Watershed group, we take our commitment to protecting our environment very seriously.”

Plan a Tour

Want to see how Four Rivers works up close? Schedule a time to take a tour around our plant! From the Four Rivers lab to the grit removal process, the tanks to the digesters and sludge dewatering, you’ll see the entire treatment process from start to finish, in person.