Springfield to spend millions on sanitary sewer rehabilitation project

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 7:52 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Springfield has more than 1,200 miles of pipes and over 28,000 manholes in its sanitary sewer system.

The wastewater collected goes to one of two treatment plants before being released into the public water system. Keeping that wastewater flowing where it’s supposed to is no easy task.

“When we get a lot of rain it surcharges the sewer and it causes some of that diluted, albeit diluted wastewater to come out of the manhole and into the natural environment. That’s what we’re trying to stop,” said Errin Kemper, Director of Environmental Services for the City of Springfield.

He says this problem is common.

“Every sewer system in the world has a similar problem. Most communities our size are under some type of consent order with either the EPA or the Department of Natural Resources to get this problem resolved,” explained Kemper.

That’s why the city is working to rehabilitate the sanitary sewer system. Crews will work on some of the most critical areas where pipes need urgent repair. Nearly $4 million dollars will be spent on this next phase of work.

Kemper said, “We have scheduled the investments out over a long period of time so that we don’t see dramatic increases in citizen’s wastewater bills.”

It’s part of a 15-year, $300 million dollar overhaul.

“It’s going to take a while to fix it but we’re actively going in and prioritizing repairs to the sewer system to try and limit that inflow and infiltration and improve reliability,” said Kemper.

Work on this phase of the sewer rehabilitation project is scheduled to start later this fall.

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