- Associated Press - Monday, November 7, 2016

WEBB CITY, Mo. (AP) - Webb City officials have received permission to proceed with a project to create a wetlands area to help remove zinc from wastewater.

The plan calls for creating a wetland and composting area near the Webb City wastewater treatment plant. The plant produces about 400 to 500 tons of zinc-contaminated sludge annually, which is expensive to haul according to the Joplin Globe (https://j.mp/2ftdq5o ).

The city applied for approval from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, but ran into problems after realizing that there were no regulations for what Webb City was trying to accomplish. Webb City officials ultimately created regulations for their plans and future wetlands.

The proposed wetland area would be seeded with vegetation that is specifically known to absorb zinc. The treated water from the plant would go through four vegetation cells before being released into Center Creek.

City wastewater director William Runkle said two public hearings will be held to explain the plan, which is estimated to cost $3.25 million. City administrator Carl Francis said the Center Creek Waste Water Treatment Board could choose to borrow the money from the state’s fund loan program or finance the project with a private lender. The city is currently paying about $1,000 per ton to haul the contaminated wastewater sludge to a hazardous landfill.

Francis said the goal is to make the composting site at least operational some time in 2017.

“Our goal is midsummer. But I’ve been saying that for the last two years,” he said.

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, https://www.joplinglobe.com


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