City of Springfield Environment News Releases

Posted on: November 24, 2014

City’s plan for continued sewer upgrades a sound investment

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A long-term sewer overflow control plan, (a plan required by state and federal environmental regulators to reduce sewer system overflows) will be presented to City Council Monday night. The plan, which has been years in the making, is required to be submitted to Missouri Department of Natural Resources by the end of this year.

The plan will continue the City’s program to address sanitary sewer overflows and make much needed improvements to the aging sewer system. It also includes sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) removal projects in targeted areas of the community.

The plan outlines investments in the local sewer system totaling $200 million over 10 years. These investments are designed to reduce sanitary sewer overflows, bypasses from the treatment plants and to improve water quality.

The City of Springfield has invested heavily in upgrades to the sanitary sewer collection and treatment system over the years to serve the citizens of Springfield and to protect the water quality of the region.

Work, however, remains. State and federal enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act is becoming more stringent as the city’s wastewater infrastructure continues to age and require increasingly expensive maintenance.

Springfield, and cities across the country, need hundreds of millions of dollars to address the aging infrastructure and required system improvements.

For example, under the Clean Water Act of 1972, Sanitary Sewer Overflows are not permitted. The City has worked with regulators regarding the next phase of improvements needed to reduce overflows.

The Department of Environmental Services has prepared a recommended, long-term plan for Springfield to reduce the overflows and protect water quality. The goals of the program also include safeguarding public health, meeting state/federal regulations and supporting future development/redevelopment in an affordable manner for our community.

The proposed, innovative plan is based upon Springfield’s environmental priorities as established in an Integrated Plan for the Environment, which is a joint project of the City, Greene County and City Utilities. Springfield is one of the first communities in the country to develop a holistic Integrated Plan looking at how to better manage our area environmental priorities with regulatory requirements for air, water and land resources.

The cost of the recommended Overflow Control Plan is $200 million spent over 10 years. At year nine, the City will re-evaluate and adapt the Overflow Control Plan according to findings and results achieved during the OCP implementation. At that time, the City will submit an updated OCP to MDNR for approval

“We believe that if it weren’t for our integrated planning approach, our plan would be considerably higher than Springfield’s $200 million proposed,” said City Manager Greg Burris. Springfield is not alone in spending large sums of money on reducing overflows. Cities across the nation are facing similar state or federal consent judgments to address sewer overflows during wet weather. Though work remains to be done, we are proud of our progress,” Burris said.

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For more information, please contact Cora Scott at 417-380-3352.

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