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City seeks volunteers for wastewater improvement task force

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The city of Springfield will accept applications through Aug. 10 for volunteers to serve on a 20-member stakeholder task force that will help guide improvements for wastewater services and treatment.

The task force will include eight citizen representatives – two from each City Council zone – as well as commercial and industrial stakeholders and representatives of the development community, environmental groups and engineering and technical experts, according to a city news release.

The city and its Public Works department are creating the task force to help deal with increasingly extensive and expensive state and federal regulations related to the Clean Water Act.

Specifically, the release said the city is facing significant challenges related to high flow rates in its sanitary sewer system during wet weather, which sometimes result in overflow. System improvements are required to comply with regulations to protect public health and the environment.

The task force will receive input about affordability, cost distribution and decision-making criteria and help develop programs to reduce basement backups and extra water that enters the system from private property connections. The group also will address issues in satellite communities – Battlefield, Republic, Strafford and Willard – which discharge wastewater into Springfield’s system for treatment, the release said.

The task force will have a facilitator and will follow a structured schedule of eight meetings in nine months, collecting public input throughout the process.

Final recommendations to City Council are expected to be made in mid-2011, the release said.

Task force members will be approved by city council. Those interested in serving are required to be ratepayers of the city’s wastewater utility.

Applications are available online at www.springfieldmo.gov/boards by clicking on “Apply to Serve” and choosing Wastewater Improvements Task Force when asked to select a group.[[In-content Ad]]

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