GALENA, KS.--- "Water doesn't go away. We recycle it over and over again," said Dale Oglesby, Galena Mayor.
That's why the Shoal Creek Basin Wastewater Authority is pushing for a new wastewater treatment system.
"We need mechanical treatment, so that we can assure the discharge water coming out for all these cities and all these communities that we're talking about, is properly treated and ready for the next cycle," said Mayor Oglesby.
Officials say the current system is outdated and leaks sewage containing E-coli back into various waterways.
"It's extremely important for both environmental reasons, to help cleanup Shoal Creek, Spring River, Grand Lake, as well as economic development," said Mayor Oglesby.
Without clean water, businesses and homes can not be built in many areas surrounding Galena, Baxter Springs, and Riverton. Representatives with the group say the proposed plant would change that, and would ultimately stimulate economic growth.
"People will gravitate towards areas that are really on top of the environment and trying to do good things. And it will allow small industry and people to build homes in this area," said John Berrey, Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma Chairman.
The proposal is still in its early stages, engineers will conduct research over the next four months. Then, they'll give recommendations about how to move forward with the project. If the plans get approved, officials hope to fund it through a mix of loans, grants, and tax dollars.
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