The Springfield Metro Sanitary District (SMSD) received notification from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) in June of 2005 that there would be a notice of Pending Restrictive Status to their plant at Spring Creek (a facility on restricted status cannot increase loading, which would prevent all commercial and residential growth within District boundaries). The plant was operating in excess of its organic design capacity. A Facilities Plan Report was developed and became the roadmap to guide future development needs, including an upgrading of the Spring Creek Plant. A new facility was proposed for construction adjacent to the existing plant which would increase treatment capacity by 32 million gallons per day (MGD) on average, and provide an additional 80 MGD at peak flow.
The project resulted in impacts to the floodway of Spring Creek, a small adjacent wetland, and an ephemeral tributary to Spring Creek. Prairie Engineers staff, while with a former employer, provided the environmental surveys, permitting support, mitigation design assistance, and construction observation over the first four phases of construction on the new facility. Mitigation included creation of a 4-acre wetland complex containing two permanent pools, stabilization of several hundred feet of Spring Creek (on an unstable outside bend), installation of several hundred feet articulated concrete mat as part of a bioswale, relocation of approximately one thousand linear feet of the unnamed tributary, and removal of approximately thirty acres of agricultural properties from production and converting them to forest.
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