Missouri DNR Approves Springfield's Plan to Control Sewer Overflow

Jun 9, 2015

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has given its consent to the city of Springfield’s Sanitary Sewer Overflow Control Plan (OCP).

The city made the announcement Tuesday in a news release.

City Council had approved the OCP plan last December in response to increased enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act. Specifically, the city cites a 2012 Amended Consent Judgment with the State of Missouri and Missouri Department of Natural Resources to reduce sanitary sewer overflows caused by excessive infiltration of rain water into the sewer system. It says most large and medium-sized communities across the country are under similar legal orders to reduce sewer overflows.

Credit Springfield Clean Water Services

The city’s OCP uses an integrated planning approach that included input from many civic leaders to address wastewater, stormwater, drinking water, air quality and solid waste all at once.

Now approved by DNR, the plan will rely on a phased approach which will invest $200 million into the aging sewer system over the next 10 years. During that time city staff will work to optimize the capacity of the existing system and submit a new plan in 2025.

“We believe that if it weren’t for our integrated planning approach, our plan would be considerably higher than Springfield’s $200 million,” said City Manager Greg Burris said in a statement.

Burris told KSMU in February that the overflow control plan could have cost the city up to $600 million without the integrated planning approach.

“Using key concepts from the Springfield-Greene County Integrated Plan, our OCP takes a unique approach to reducing sanitary sewer overflows and represents a significant savings to our ratepayers over more traditional plans,” says Steve Meyer, director of the City's Environmental Services department.