QUAPAW, OK.--- Southeast Kansas leaders are starting plans to create a better waste water facility. The Shoal Creek Basin Regional Wastewater Authority met today to begin preliminary planning for a cleaner environment.
"We really want to cleanup Spring River. Its got some issues with E-coli and some pollution. One of our goals is to really clean that up," said John Berrey, Quapaw Tribe Chairman.
Leaders from Baxter Springs, Galena, the Quapaw Tribe, and Cherokee County met to discuss a mechanical waste water facility.
"We've driven a good portion of it to evaluate kind of the future of the the area, where we could potentially serve sewer. And we're just getting kind of started on the survey of the systems. So, it's just at the beginning stages," said Clayton Cristy, CEO- Tri-State Engineering.
Currently, many residents in Southeast Kansas depend on well-water or septic tanks. Having a modernized water treatment facility has more than health and environmental safety benefits.
"Right now, there's no mechanical waste water facility in Cherokee County. So, that's a draw for bigger companies, because that's one of the things that they look for. Is there a mechanical treatment plant? And right now, we don't have that," said Richard Hilderbrand, Cherokee County Commissioner.
Southeast Kansas leaders are beginning a contract with Tri-State Engineering to start researching the area.
"Now Tri-State Engineering is going to use their technology and engineering to figure out what really they think will work the best for what our goals are," said Berrey.
According to chairman of the Quapaw Tribe, it's in everyone's best interest to keep Spring River clean and ultimately improve the quality of water in Southeast Kansas. Quapaw will be investing the initial funding for this project. Once the study is complete, the project will hopefully be constructed using grants.
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