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DNR outlines upgrades to wastewater plants

Karl Fett, DNR regional director, spelled out the requirements and timeline for Richmond’s wastewater treatment facilities to comply by state and EPA standards at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Fett and three other DNR officials presented the council with a detailed outline of compliance items. Top on DNR’s list is disinfection of wastewater to limit fecal coliform and residual chlorine at the North Wastewater Plant. Disinfection curtails the spread of waterborne diseases. A detailed engineering report and plans, plus construction permit are required by Oct. 28, 2011. The city requested an extension for compliance on July 28, 2008; however according to Fett, has not submitted a plan that includes their schedule and status of achieving the compliance.
“We need justification why you need the time. We didn’t hear back from you, but we’re still open to that,” Fett said.
Fett said the north plant will also need a back-up generator when disinfection goes online.
Concerns at the city’s South Wastewater Plant were also addressed, specifically the inflow and infiltration of stormwater into wastewater.
“There’s too much flow. It’s too overwhelming to allow any more sewage at the south plant,” he said.
Fett said the inflow of rain and wastewater at the south plant exceeds capacity beyond its design and could not support additional
businesses or housing divisions to connect to south plant. The plant receives average flows in excess of 85 percent of its design capacity, according to DNR.
“Can that plant handle it? In this case, our answer would be no,” he said.
In wet weather, a stormwater clarifier is used. Discharges from the clarifier are considered a bypass and are prohibited by state and federal regulations and the Missouri Clean Water Act.
“The small clarifier at south plant can’t be used anymore. You have to eliminate the use of it,” Fett said.
DNR recommends improvements to the plant and reductions of inflow to the facility.
City Administrator Rick Childers, along with C.E. Goodall, said they have repaired 34 manholes, thereby reducing 30,000 gallons of stormwater into the system. Fett said even with the reduction, the threshold is “well above EPA standards.”
Fett offered a no-cost inspection of inflow problems at the plant. The inspection would look mostly at records and sample a few manholes and sewer lines.

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