February 17, 2010

News Release

For Immediate Release

Ground Broken for Ozone Disinfection System

EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks and DNR Deputy Director Dru Buntin joined City leaders to break ground today for the new Ozone Disinfection System at the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The $16 million project award was made possible through a combination grant and low-interest loan of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding awarded by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources through a federal grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA Region 7 office, which covers Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and nine tribal nations, selected Springfield’s project to represent the one-year anniversary of the federal stimulus program. Mr. Brooks said this project represents the goals of meeting both economic and environmental needs in offering a shared federal, state and local improvement for regional water quality.

The state DNR is administering the grant and loan funds to help local communities, including Springfield, support water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects that also produce financial savings. Mr. Buntin noted that Missouri has exceeded the federal requirement of using 20 percent of the Recovery Act funding on “green” infrastructure projects.

Springfield’s new system will increase the SWWTP’s disinfection capacity by more than 50 percent while it also is projected to save about $6 million over 20 years in reduced energy consumption and maintenance requirements. The two-year project is expected to create 30 new full-time equivalent jobs.

Dr. John Moore, president of the Upper White River Basin Foundation, praised the downstream regional impact the project will have on the flows going into Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo, which are vital watersheds for recreational and economic development in Missouri.

The direct grant and loan covers two projects under three contracts:

The Springfield project was well-positioned to be considered for ARRA funding because these improvements were already planned and were “shovel ready” when the application process was announced last year. The final impact on sewer rates to users of Springfield’s wastewater treatment system will be determined in a fee study to be completed later this year.

The ARRA direct grant of $3 million, which doesn’t have to be re-paid, and the low-interest loan rate anticipated to be about 2 percent, will represent significant savings over the cost of the project without the ARRA funding. The City also is applying $1 million in previously approved state Revolving Loan Funds. Over the long term, the improvements are necessary for Springfield to comply with state and federal wastewater treatment mandates.

For more information on operations at the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant, visit: www.springfieldmo.gov/sanitary/southwest.html

For more information, contact: Steve Meyer, Public Works Assistant Director of Sanitary Services, 864-2047.

Ozone benefits paper.
Explanation of ozone disinfection process.

city of springfield

Department of Public Works

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1900 • springfieldmo.gov