Plans for a new sewer system in Monroe City might have to go down the toilet.
That's because of new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Now, it's saying Monroe City will have to spend five times the money it can afford to fix its problem.
The city started working on its sewer system about three years ago with a video monitoring system. That's when it realized serious work needed to be done.
"We found areas where the sewer's old clay pipe has collapsed or has cracks in it. Even sections where it's just broken and crumbled. It's getting a lot of infiltration into the sewer system which then goes into the sewer plant," said Mayor Minor.
And the Environmental Protection Agency is not happy about that. The city was in the process of putting together a plan to fix the initial findings of the video inspections when the Department of Natural Resources said there's too much infiltration. DNR wants the city to fix the problem within the next five years, at the tune of $5 million. Mayor Neal Minor says the city can only afford $1 million of that.
"DNR is just enforcing the regulations that are put out by the EPA. And that's what the real problem is. The EPA is just out of control. And, they're going to regulate the life out the communities. They have no idea how we actually operate here in rural Missouri. I don't know if they feel like we're not intelligent enough to solve our own problems, or they have to justify why they have jobs," says Minor.
EPA regulations or not, residents will see an increase of $10 to $15 in their sewer bills as a way to help the issue
The EPA says the city has to have the project in the next five years.
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