Facing Aging Infrastructure and Regulatory Challenges
A network of hundreds of miles of water and sewer pipe lies beneath our streets. In combination with reservoirs, pumping stations, and water and wastewater treatment facilities, these pipes bring clean water into homes and businesses, and they carry wastewater to the treatment plant to be cleaned and returned to the environment. Having access to these services is vital for public health, environmental protection, economic development, and quality of life. Today, water utilities are facing two significant challenges. Much of the underground water and sewer infrastructure has reached the end of its life and is in need of upgrade and replacement. In order to continue to provide reliable service, and compliance with regulatory mandates, The Commission must commit to a significant investment of time and resources. Springfield is not alone – nationally, other utilities face these same challenges.
Challenge #1: An Aging Infrastructure
Parts of the water and sewer infrastructure in the City of Springfield date back to the late 1800s. The pipes are aging and in need of repair and replacement.
Challenge #2: Regulatory Mandates
Like many older systems, part of Springfield’s wastewater collection system is composed of combined sewers, which have overflow points called Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that overflows from CSOs be reduced. The Commission has been working to reduce CSOs since 2003, and will continue to work toward this end for the next 20 years and beyond. Click here to read more about CSOs.