Aug. 22, 2011
MRPC aids in statewide wastewater assessment report
ST. JAMES – Missouri communities now have a clearer picture of necessary improvements for wastewater treatment and disposal for the next 20 years, thanks to a statewide assessment conducted with the assistance of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC).
The Missouri Association of Council of Governments (MACOG) – with Boonslick Regional Planning Commission serving as the lead agency – received a 604(b) grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to prepare a report on the current condition of public wastewater systems in Missouri.
Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC assistant director and environmental programs manager, explained the assessment project to the MRPC board during its Aug. 11 meeting.
“The objective of the project was to figure out what the needs were in each community,” Snodgrass said. “The big push was to have people be pro-active so communities could plan ahead and prioritize these projects.”
Reports for individual systems were prepared and distributed to municipalities with wastewater facilities earlier this summer, Snodgrass said.
To gather information, regional planning commissions throughout the state conducted surveys for each community that had populations of less than 5,000. The surveys helped determine the current condition of the treatment and collection systems of small communities served by public sewer systems.
The Boonslick Regional Planning Commission in Warrenton, Mo. coordinated the study for a total of 452 communities statewide. In the Meramec Region, 26 communities were surveyed.
The surveys focused on several types of information such as the existing water treatment type, compliance issues, needs, costs and financing options.
For example, the study concluded that in 20 years an estimated 88 communities’ wastewater facilities in Missouri would have less capacity than is required, Snodgrass said.
While all communities in the Meramec Region currently have the required wastewater capacity, two communities would have less than the required capacity within 20 years.
The total cost to address wastewater needs in the state is estimated to be more than $170 million, including $12.1 million for the Meramec Region’s needs, Snodgrass said.
“The report really highlights the needs in the state of Missouri in regard to wastewater treatment and will help prioritize where moneys need to be spent,” Snodgrass said.
The plan will not only help communities plan for the future, but will help funding agencies realize the statewide needs in wastewater, Snodgrass said.
For more information on the wastewater assessment, contact Snodgrass at MRPC at 573-265-2993.
In other business, the board:
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 28, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.
The MRPC board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at its office at 4 Industrial Drive in St. James. All meetings are open to the public.