Keeping Drinking Water Safe

1 decade 3 months 1 week ago June 20, 2006 Jun 20, 2006 Tuesday, June 20 2006 Tuesday, June 20, 2006 9:50:21 AM CDT in News

Missouri's storm water coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources, Roy Williford, said, "Congress told EPA they had to do it, but they're not going to get any extra money to do it. EPA delegated it to the state of Missouri and said that we had to do it, but we don't get any extra money to do it."

It's a five-year plan with a completion date of 2008. The plan has six parts, including education. But, the part requiring the most work is controlling construction site runoff. That means builders can't let rain run off their property into sewers or nearby bodies of water.

"You can imagine the hundreds of sites that there are across the state," said Williford. "If you have two inspectors covering 20 counties, it's just almost certain that you're going to be missing an awful lot."

So, state inspectors respond only to complaints. But, more city and county inspectors also will be able to watch for violations, although dirt in the street is not always a violation.

"Just coming off the street would not be," explained Michael Heaton, DNR environmental specialist. "When rain hits it, and they do not control it and it runs off the property, then that would be a violation."

Heaton said developers should prepare for rain.

"Recommendation for this area here would be to grade it, and seed and mulch it," he added. "If that is not possible, put some type of best-management-practice silt fence or hay bales around the curb area."

Sediment basins are also acceptable. By March of 2008, those recommendations would come from a local inspector, such as someone from Holts Summit or Callaway County.

The recommendations will affect cities with populations of at least 10,000 and urban counties, including part of Callaway County.

In next week's Coverage from Callaway, you'll see how the county is trying to implement the program, and why it was just notified about it in the past two months when it should have started working on the program 3 years ago.

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