Water Quality

Ground & Drinking Water
Citizens of Springfield and Greene County depend upon area lakes and bountiful supplies of high quality groundwater for drinking water. Sixty thousand residents of rural Greene County and all of the cities in the County, except for Springfield, rely on untreated well water as their water supply. Industries depend heavily on groundwater for cooling, irrigation and process water. A study by the U.S. Geological Survey in the late 1980's indicated that are groundwater levels are declining sharply. It is clear that we must take action to conserve both the quantity and quality of our water resources.

“In the Ozarks, quality of life is tied to quality of water is tied to economic development. If we lose one, we risk losing all.” - Todd Parnell

Progress Made, Funding Needed
Much progress has been made since a 1996 Water Resources Task Force report, however much remains to be done. Our goals and objectives represent a complete, fundamentally sound, and progressive water management program, which, if implemented by Springfield and Greene County, can effectively preserve our water resources for years to come. It has become clear, however, that these goals will not be achieved unless additional funding and resources are provided. Since the first Vision 20/20 plan, we have become more and more aware of the urgency of protecting our water resources. This cannot be achieved without addressing the issue of long term funding. This must become a community priority.

Strategic Action Plan
  • Inform and educate community leadership on water issues and needs.
  • Build community understanding and support.
  • Require water quality BMPs for new developments in all watersheds in the City and County.
  • Revise regulations & policies to require consideration of water quality and quantity early in development planning process.
  • Adopt improved design criteria for water quality BMPs.
  • Amend city sinkhole ordinance to include water quality protection policy BMP standards.
  • Continue and enhance existing water quality education and outreach activities.
  • Conduct a formal funding study for stormwater and non-point source pollution programs.
  • Conduct a study to determine current status of groundwater usage, water table levels, and forecast future trends.
  • Develop the Watershed Institute.
  • Adopt stream buffering protection ordinance.
  • Offer community / voters opportunity to fund a stormwater and non-point source pollution program.
  • Draft and adopt standards for re-development.
  • Expand city and county programs for operation and maintenance for stormwater facilities, as required by state and Federal stormwater permits.
  • Develop program for regulating operation and maintenance of septic systems in areas not served by public sewers.
  • Develop water management plans for all watersheds in Springfield-Greene County. Establish priorities based upon water quality and quantity issues. Ensure that comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations and other city and county plans and regulations are consistent with established water management plans.
  • Expand the erosion and sediment control program in the City of Springfield and provide resources for plan review and construction site inspection for enforcement of the city’s grading ordinance, similar to the county’s program.
  • Expand the water quality education and outreach program.