(Question 38 continued, with chronology and excerpted citations from legal and other official documents.)
(COMMENT: The best way to tell this part of the story is to let those who participated in it speak for themselves; therefore, I have selected highlights from information presented in their own words. Copies of the documents referenced here are in my file, but SASS might wish to acquire its own copies.
Detailed information about these resources appears in the Appendix section of this Report. The information which follows is in chronological order, starting in 1972 and moving forward to the present time. Comments of my own also appear as narrative text, where needed. WSP)
(Source: U. S. Environmental Protection Agency)
The first federal Water Pollution Control Amendment is passed.
States enact versions at state level in compliance with the federal law.
The Water Pollution Control Amendment is revised and is hereinafter known as the Clean Water Act, counterpart of which in Missouri is known as the Missouri Clean Water Law.
On December 7, 1984 Missouri Department of Natural Resources issues to City of Springfield
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit No. MO 0049522
for the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Missouri Clean Water Law is revised.
Springfield's NPDES Permit expires on December 6, 1989.
Springfield's NPDES Permit is modified and reissued on April 19, 1990.
(These excerpts are from this technical paper dowloaded 7/4/05
"THE OWNER/CONSULTANT PARTNERSHIP
A Success Story in Springfield, MO"
Mark G. Wade, P.E.
Wade & Associates, Inc.
Lawrence, Kansas 66049
Abstract: 'The City of Springfield, in southwest, Missouri, operates and maintains approximately 1,000 miles of separate sanitary sewer. The rapidly growing service population is 170,000."
Text Book SSO Dilemma: "...Beginning in 1991, the City took very significant and deliberate initiatives to regain control of it's (sic) 900 miles of sanitary sewer, some which pre- date 1900. In prior years, limited resources were thinly spread among the City's O&M activities, while trying to keep up with the break-neck pace of new sewer construction. During the preceding decade, the collection system grew by more than 50%. During the same period of time, however, serious problems within the collection system emerged. Most of the problems were wet-weather related. Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) were more common and the threshold to contain rainfall induced wastewater flows started to shrink.
Conventional vs. Non-conventional Wisdom: "... the City was facing a major decision regarding its overall approach to solving problems... the City decided to get some outside help and go after its I/I problems."
(Wade Report Continued)
Consultant Support with a Twist: "Beginning in 1992, the City retained the consulting engineering firm of Wade & Associates for guidance, training and support in their overall program goal of reducing I/I and controlling the balance of wet-weather flow, following rehabilitation. ...the City elected to start with a ''pilot'' study. Essentially, the City selected five small sub-basins within the collection system (approximately 4.7% of the total system) that fairly represented a cross-sectional view of the entire system, including age of the system, method and materials of construction, geology, customer service demographics, maintenance history, and reported SSOs. " (Comment: Our SASS area was not in this pilot study. WSP)
Identifying the Problems: "The City of Springfield operates and maintains an
extensive wastewater collection system. It includes approximately 1,000 miles of sanitary sewer
ranging from 6" to 60" of pipe diameter. The system is divided into two principal watersheds
which are further divided into 15 basins. The City operates two major treatment facilities and
32 pumping stations. Four basins discharge into the Northwest Treatment Plant and the other
eleven basins discharge into the Southwest Treatment Plant.
(Comment: Our SASS area is in the Fassnight Creek Basin, identified as FC. WSP)
...The oldest parts of the collection system were constructed prior to 1900. Most of the
system, however, has doubled since 1978. The entire sewer systen has historically remained a
separate and distinct collection system from the city's storm sewer and drainage systems.
Generally, there are no known locations within the sanitary sewer system that have combined or
cross-connected sewers. ...there are locations where the storm drainage system is indirectly
connected. Common construction methods prior to 1960 included vitrified clay pipe with lime
mortar and cement joints.
(Comment: Homes on Washita Street and South Avenue were constructed in the mid-to-late 1950s, at which time sanitary sewer lines were installed. WSP)
The practice of embedding the pipe did not begin until after 1966. Flexible-O-ring and polyurethane pipe jointing systems started in 1978. Although the City had budgeted almost $4.0 million annually for sewer system repair and rehabilitation, problems with the system were extensive and included the following:
Overflows and bypasses occurred at various locations when rainfall exceeded the transport capacity of the laterals, mains and pumping stations. ...Problems were, of course, further compounded with the dramatic increase in the system size during the period from 1978-- present."
Getting Started: Under this initial SSES, it was agreed that the consultant would be responsible for the work completed under each phase, except for all pipeline cleaning and CCTV inspections. This work would be completed by the City's sewer maintenance department. ...the consultant hired and trained local personnel to conduct all of the field related activities. ...Field work included the following:
...Results of the initial pilot study recommended that the City budget approximately $620,000 to remove 40-50% of the wet-weather I/I and an additional $1. 0 million for supplemental relief and replacement sewers in the study area."(Comment: no door-to-door property inspection, including basements and crawl spaces, is known by me to have occurred In the SASS area during the rehabilitation and abatement phase of follow-up work which was completed in our SASS neighborhood in 2005. WSP)
Springfield's NPDES Permit is amended March 6, 1992.
(Wade Report Continued)
Complications for the Department of Justice: "On May 11, 1994 (just 30 days before the pilot study report was to be finalized), the Department of Justice (DOD) issued a letter to the Mayor of Springfield notifying him that a federal lawsuit was about to be filed against the City for effluent limit violations of the NPDES permit issued to the City's largest wastewater treatment facility. The United States indicated that it would seek to enjoin the unpermitted bypass and overflow discharges from the sanitary sewer system (SSOs) as well as civil penalties for past discharge violations. The potential fine was estimated to be $75 million. The letter was leaked to the local media, who published reports of $75 million in penalties. Public reaction was immediate and demanding. On the same day, a letter from the DOJ was also sent to the Attorney General of the State of Missouri notifying him of the United States' intentions with regard to the City of Springfield. The letter indicated that the State was to be either a voluntary plaintiff in the federal lawsuit or a statutory defendant under Section 309(e) of the Clean Water Act.
"Within a few days the City retained the environmental law firm of Lathrop & Norquist to provide for legal defense assistance in the matter. Following a series of initial tolling agreements and meetings between the DOJ and City's legal counsel, the pilot I/I study was handed over to the DOJ and EPA for their review. For the next 12 months a series of offers and counteroffers were made between the City and the DOJ in an effort to litigate and settle the matter. Ultimately, the City and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources agreed to a Consent Decree that would obligate the City to a long term I/I removal program. As part of the final offer, the City agreed to undertake a $12 million, 12-year I/I elimination program and make payments of $120,000 in civil penalties. The lawsusit was dropped and the City began their long-term program in earnest in 1995." (Comment: The portion of this 12-year project affecting our SASS area was completed in 2005, five years after I began submitting reports following the flooding in July 2000.)
(COMMENTS: While Wade & Associates, Inc. is conducting the surveys excerpted in the foregoing documents, and John L. Morris/Bass Pro are actively attempting to acquire 100% ownership of the square 1900 block of South Campbell and South Avenues, a major flood hits the Neighborhood Watch No. 377 area that later becomes known as SASS.
The crawl space at 201 W. Washita Street is inundated and all but one kitten from a litter of feral felines drown. Next door, at 203 E. Washita Street, the flood waters rise in our crawl space to the level of the sub-flooring; the manual sump pump runs for more than a week, suctioning smelly water into the street by hose while, from underground, more water seeps through the surface, refilling the crawl space.
The flood hits at the same time my 89-year old uncle Archie A. Hardy, for whom I am caregiver, dies and I have to bury him, while 2) my 83-year old mother Lois Marie Childress, for whom I am also caregiver, suffers the first TIA that starts her slow-death process that will continue until June 1997. I am too overwhelmed to document the flood, but my aging cat Ebony, who was about 12 weeks of age when rescued, reminds me we are survivors of March 1994.WSP)
(COMMENT: this 129-page document covers much information contained in the above-cited online document by Mark G. Wade, P.E.; therefore, I include only excerpts to supplement such data. WSP)