City of Springfield Environment News Releases

Posted on: October 7, 2014

City continues review of Southwest Treatment Plant

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Springfield has concluded a personnel investigation within the Department of Environmental Services. All personnel matters are private and confidential. Springfield City Manager Greg Burris has requested a separate investigation by the Springfield Police Department to determine what, if any, criminal misconduct occurred.

The City continues a review of departmental operations, which focuses on potential misuse of city-owned property and funds at the Southwest Treatment Plant. The plant is one of two wastewater treatment facilities operated by the Department of Environmental Services and operates around the clock to treat wastewater from the greater Springfield area.

After being notified of concerns, the City acted swiftly and is reviewing all aspects of how the facility does business, both operationally and financially, using outside industry experts and an external audit firm to do a comprehensive financial review.

“The Southwest Treatment Plant is an outstanding facility served by 42 dedicated employees who work tirelessly to take care of the award-winning plant and the customers served by the plant,” said City Manager Greg Burris. “We believe the events that occurred are isolated and are continuing further investigation and reviews to ensure proper measures have been taken to prevent future problems of this nature,” Burris said. “We will await further action until these reviews and the police investigation are concluded.”

The Southwest Treatment Plant is a recipient of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) Platinum Award - issued to plants receiving five Gold Awards in a row. Very few plants across the country receive the Platinum Award. Gold awards are issued for plants maintaining zero National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit violations an entire year.

2014 – The plant is still maintaining its Platinum status.

2013 – The plant maintains its 4th year of Platinum status.
Zero NPDES violations for the 8th consecutive year

2010 - After five NACWA Gold awards in a row the plant receives its first Platinum

2006 - 2010 - NACWA Gold Awards

The plant has also received the NACWA Operations & Environmental Performance Award, presented to agencies for outstanding initiatives in wastewater treatment, wastewater conveyance, stormwater management, &/or environmental enhancement. It recognizes an innovative and effective project developed and successfully implemented in a cost effective manner while achieving environmental compliance objectives.

Safety
The plant has operated for more than 7,665 days, January 1, 1992 - January 1, 2014, without a lost time accident.

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For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), cscott@springfieldmo.gov.

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