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Sewer Project Completed

In the past two years, the City of Puxico's sewer system has gone through a major upgrade in order to meet Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requirements.

Each month, the discharge from the lagoon sewer system is tested for effluent limitations including volume flow, biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, E. Coli, ammonia, oil and grease, nitrogen and phosphorus.  In order for the City to maintain its DNR permit for the sewer system, its monthly test results must stay within the limits set by DNR.  In the past few years, DNR limits have become more restrictive, especially in ammonia rates.

Because the sewer system that the City had in 2016 was not keeping the limits as low as DNR required, the system needed to be upgraded.  The total funds needed to fund this project was almost 3 million dollars.  The City received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of $500,000, a Rural Development loan of $1,812,000, and a Rural Development grant of $596,000 for the project.  In order to receive these grants and loans, the City had to gradually raise the sewer rates charged until the average user (5,000 gallons of water usage) was paying $40.32 per month for sewer usage alone.  Sewer rate increases began in May, 2016, and the final rate increase was made in May, 2018.

Bids for the project were taken in September/October, 2018, with the bids being awarded to Visu-Sewer and C.A. Walker Construction on October 31, 2018.  The actual work began in January, 2019.

The City used the CDBG grant of $500,000 to check and repair all sewer lines.  Visu-Sewer, a company from the St. Louis area, flushed lines and ran a camera through every sewer line to find areas of weakness and leaks.  Once all of the areas were designated, Visu-Sewer then cam back and placed a sewer (sleeve" inside any line that had weaknesses or leaks, making them strong, sturdy lines.  This work was completed in early 2020.  All of the City's sewer lines should now be in good shape for several years to come.

The Rural Development loan and grant were used to work on the lagoon itself to correct any problems the City was having meeting the effluent limitations set by DNR.  C.A. Walker Construction from Dexter received the bid on this portion of the project.  Two of the lagoon's three cells were drained, the sludge removed, and the cells were then filled in.  A covering was placed on the remaining cell that contains UV filters that kill the bacteria etc. in the effluent and more aeration was added.  The new equipment and covering has made this cell much more effective in removing the chemicals, etc. that must be removed before the effluent is released into its receiving stream.  the ammonia rates hat have teen recorded in the past few months have been very low.

Along with the actual work on the lagoon area, the project also allowed the City to do repair work on existing lift stations and to install a lift station for the new subdivision.  The City was also able to place generators in the lagoon area that will keep the lagoon functioning when the electricity is off.

The work on the lagoon area was completed in August, 2020.  Now, the City will begin  making monthly payments on the $1,812,000 loan which will be paid off in 35 years.