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Springfield OKs deals for sewage plant, water work
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The Springfield City Council approved agreements with EMC Engineering for upgrades to the wastewater treatment facility, a new well and phase one and two of the Highway 21 waterline extension at its meeting Tuesday night.

Mark Mobley of EMC Engineering told the council the upgrades to the wastewater treatment facility will primarily be done to the filters, and there will be work done to the chlorination system as well.

“The proposal is for converting the treatment plant to a reuse facility, which will be capable of using the spray field,” he said.

The chlorination system also would be changed to smaller systems, Mobley said.

Mobley said phase one of the waterline extension would begin around the existing well to the Beebe Road area.

“It will involve some right of way acquisition,” he said.

Council member Kenny Usher said timeliness is important for the project.

“There is a sense of urgency here,” he said. “We need to fast track this baby. There’s a lot at stake. I know you can only cram so much into a limited amount of time.”

Mobley said EMC has the “manpower dedicated to do what we said we would.”

Council member Charles Hinely asked if the project was on a Dec. 31 timeline.

Mobley said most of the project would be completed by Dec. 31, though some of it would be scheduled for January.
Phase two of the water line will extend from where phase one ends to the tank at the Effingham Industrial Park. A lift pump station will be placed somewhere on the line, most likely at the industrial park.

Fire hydrants will be placed along the water line as well.

“We really need a lot of water to push all this down to it, so this is a proposal for a well that would provide 1.2 million gallons per day,” Mobley said. “It’s my understanding that the permit is forthcoming.”

City Manger Brett Bennett said the city has a letter from the state Environmental Protection Division acknowledging Springfield’s plan to build a well. The current plans are to build a 16-inch well.

“They don’t want to issue a permit on a well that doesn’t exist,” he said.

Mobley said just before construction begins should be when the well is permitted. He also said that the 16-inch well could provide 1,500 to 1,600 gallons of water per minute. At that rate, the well could pump nearly 1.2 million gallons over 12 hours of operation.

All agreements were unanimously approved.

The council also approved an ordinance requiring all new developments served by the city with water and sewer to install purple pipe for the purposes of irrigation.

Usher said he “can’t quite come to terms with it.”

“It’s putting a little more burden on than I feel is necessary, I think,” Usher said. “I know we need to have developments and all help to foot the bill and help the burden they are adding our infrastructure.”

Bennett said the way the ordinance is set up allows for an option to not lay the pipe.

“The purpose of the ordinance is not to have everyone put in purple pipe because realistically we’re not going to get reuse water to Springfield any time soon because of the location of our plant,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that these developers shouldn’t help us get rid of it because there is a cost to get rid of reuse water. Somebody’s got to pay for it. This is designed so that all developments share the cost not just the ones that happen to be close to the plant.”

Bennett said he believes this type of requirement will be mandatory by EPD in the near future.

Usher said Bennett is correct “it’s coming.” “It will be an unfounded mandate from EPD for sure,” Usher said.

Bennett said he thinks it will be good for Springfield to “be ahead of the game.”

“This kind of thing has a lot of effect on EPD, doing things before we have to,” he said.