The Springfield Metro Sanitary District (SMSD) was established in 1917, and currently serves over 145,000 people in the Springfield [IL] metro area, including the communities of Chatham, Grandview, Jerome, Leland Grove, Rochester, Sherman and Southern View. The SMSD operates multiple wastewater collection system and treatment facilities. The Sugar Creek facility was constructed in 1973.
The Sugar Creek facility is located on the east side of Springfield with the treated effluent entering Sugar Creek, a tributary of the Sangamon River. The facility grounds cover approximately one square mile and much of the land cover within the facility grounds is composed of forested floodplain and farmland. Prairie Engineers staff, while employed at a different firm, conducted intensive field surveys for wetland resources and protected species prior to facility improvements. Species of concern included the Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), Kirtland’s Snake (Clonophis kirtlandii), Lined Snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum), and Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis).
Species surveys were conducted over eight weeks and included mist netting, placement of artificial cover boards, and general site observations for nesting and predatory behaviors targeted at the various species. None of the targeted species were identified at the site. The wetland surveys identified a variety of wetland types and sizes. The size of the wetlands ranged from less than a quarter acre to 23 acres; however, most were less than five acres. Floristic quality indices ranged from 4.0 to 23.5, showing varying degrees of disturbance oriented species throughout the property.
The detailed surveys allowed the District to plan facility improvements around the wetland resources and provide documentation of no negative impacts to protected species to resource agencies. The coordination with the District and design engineers expedited the permitting process and avoided delays in construction.
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