Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant (SWTP) is located at the confluence of Wilson's Creek and South Creek. The plant began operation in 1959 with a flow capacity of 12 million gallons per day. The plant has since undergone two major upgrades. An expansion and major upgrade was completed in 1978 that increased the SWTP capacity to 30 million gallons per day. Higher levels of treatment were also achieved at this time. Further expansion and major improvements were completed in 1993 with the addition of a second treatment train, Plant#2. Other major construction phases involved the further enhancement of the 1993 expansion to include biological removal of phosphorus followed by the addition of chemical phosphorus removal for the 1978 expansion. New biosolids handling improvements were instituted along with the construction of a 1.2 million gallon biosolids storage tank. Other construction included the addition of biological nitrogen removal, two 165' diameter primary clarifiers, a new pumping station, and biofilter odor control.
The combination of these four phases of construction is now capable of continually treating 42.5 million gallons per day of Springfield's wastewater and 100 million gallons per day for shorter periods. The average daily flow at this time is approximately 30 million gallons per day. The SW Treatment Facility, in accordance with the Clean Water Act, is governed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and locally by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR) through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program to ensure a high quality of water being discharged into the water ways. The plant is designed to produce an effluent which can be discharged into Wilson's Creek without having any negative environmental impact on the river water quality.The plant is staffed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, by 43 operation, maintenance, and laboratory personnel. The plant removes approximately 70,000 pounds of pollutants from the wastewater per day before it is discharged. The Wastewater Laboratory, located at the SWTP, provides 70,000 analyses each year for regulatory reporting, plant operational controls and industrial billing, as well as for the industrial pretreatment and storm water programs. The SWTP conducts approximately 25 tours a year for College, High School/Jr High School, Industries, and other organizations.
The Southwest Treatment Plant is an award winning facility. The Plant was honored with the Missouri Water Environmental Association/American Water Works Association (MWEA/AWWA) Plant of the Year in 2011. After receiving five National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) Gold Awards in a row the Plant received the NACWA Platinum award in 2010. This award is received by treatment plants which have gone five years without a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) violation. The Platinum Award is only received by a few NPDES permitted facilities throughout the country. The SW Treatment Plant will maintain the Platinum status for 2012 having had no NPDES violations for the year.
The SWTP is in the process of upgrading the facility to maintain the most energy, economically, and environmentally efficient processes to continue to meet the high quality standards for the water ways of the Ozarks.