Local Architect, Developer Contributes to Missouri City's Water Quality

Article excerpt

When Dan Scott, a Springfield, Mo., architect with Jericho Development Company LLC, began planning the renovation of the Marquette Hotel, he knew that power washing would be necessary to remove several layers of paint from the building's exterior.

If proper measures were not taken, residue in the wash water would be carried to nearby waterways via the storm water drainage system. The city's storm water services and sanitary services divisions worked with Scott to comply with the storm water and wastewater regulations mandated by federal and state law.

Following the 1987 amendments to the federal Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency enacted the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program in 1990.

The NPDES Storm Water Phase 1 Rule requires all cities with a population of 100,000 or more to apply for a permit for discharges from a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4). An MS4 is separate from a city's sanitary system.

Discharges to Springfield's sanitary sewer system flow to one of the city's two wastewater treatment plants. Discharges to the city's MS4, which is commonly referred to as the storm water system, flow to area streams, rivers and lakes.

Springfield received its NPDES storm water permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in July 2002, becoming the first city in the state of Missouri to do so.

This permit assigns to the city the responsibility of monitoring the quality of storm water discharging from the MS4 to area waterways and requires the development of a storm water management program.

The NPDES program legislation was not accompanied by a funding appropriation. Cities subject to these laws must meet the permit requirements of this unfunded mandate with existing resources.

For this reason, voluntary efforts to inquire about good storm water practices are an extremely valuable part of a successful storm water management program.

Requirements for improving the quality of storm water discharges include not only reducing the amount of pollutants in storm water runoff, such as oil from parking lots and excess nutrients from fertilized lawns, but also reducing the occurrence of prohibited non-storm water discharges to the storm water system.

Scott's project presented an opportunity to demonstrate how local developers and contractors can comply with the city's requirements.

According to federal and state regulations, wash waters such as those generated from exterior power washing of the Marquette Hotel need to be completely contained and disposed of through the city's sanitary sewer system. …