Frequently Asked Questions – Separate sewer area
Overland Community Center: December 5, 2013
Q: (regarding stormwater regulations) Where are we with EPA rules? Are we meeting the goals?
A: Yes, we are currently in compliance.
Q: In the future, if a stormwater fee is passed, would MSD eliminate the taxes currently in place?
A: We would leave the existing property tax in place and roll back to zero; in areas where there are known problems, the taxing sub-district would remain.
Q: How does a municipality know if they are in compliance with the MS4 permit?
A: You may contact Roland Biehl with MSD’s Department of Environmental Compliance regarding specific compliance questions.
Q: How do we know about what studies are going on so we don’t spend municipal dollars on identical work?
A: Engineers know. They know how to get in touch with us.
Q: (after describing an MSD project completed 7-8 years ago) Was it part of MSD Project Clear?
A: Think of this as an ongoing narrative.
Q: (regarding stormwater disconnection program enforcement) How do you disconnect from service?
A: Put a plug in a lateral. We’ll notify municipalities if we are getting to that point.
Q: How much does a disconnection cost?
A: It varies by the work required. MSD will pay.
Comment: My community has lots of seniors. They’ll contact the city right away when they see a stranger in their neighborhood. Stranger-danger is common among seniors.
Q: What if we see an illegal connection?
A: Call the main MSD number, 768-6260 and mention MSD Project Clear. That will get the word to us.
Webster Groves Community Center: November 26, 2013
Q: Will MSD document significant defects with the County (though property titles) so homebuyers are aware of planned removals?
A: We looked into that. It is expensive so we are not pursuing at this time.
Q: Will cities be notified regarding enforcement cases?
A: Yes. MSD doesn’t want to inundate cities with paper, but they will be notified when enforcement begins.
Q: (following up) Could cities be informed before the enforcement process begins?
A: Yes. We will work with you. We do not have hard and fast protocols yet as we’ve not gotten to that point.
Metropolitan Sewer District Headquarters: November 15, 2013
Two individuals attended this meeting, both from Jennings. No program related questions were recorded.
Chesterfield City Hall: November 13, 2013
Q: How long will a plumber be at someone’s house to do the disconnection work?
A: It varies case by case and depends on the work to be completed. Work usually involves a couple of visits, first to assess, then to fix.
Q: Are you replacing concrete and landscaping?
A: Yes. We will replace concrete. We will replace landscaping with nursery stock.
Q: Can you spend another minute on explaining separating the combined sewer?
A: We won’t do that in general.
Q: But you mentioned spending $2B?
A: Good point – there are a variety of types of projects that make up the $2B including tunnels, rainscaping [and some combined sewer separation].
Q: How is MSD deciding whether to daylight a downspout or bury it?
A: We try to get it to a green area or a storm sewer.
Q: Do you sit down with public works directors before a project?
A: Yes we do. We are in the midst of working with one municipality right now on a cost-sharing agreement for street work needed as a result of a sewer project.
Q: (confirming) Downspouts can go to the storm drain?
A: Yes. It is better to go to green for water quality but if we can’t go to green, then the storm sewer is the best solution.
Q: Besides removal of service, do you have enforcement options through the court?
A: Yes. We are talking through that now. We’ll let municipalities know as well as state representatives.
Q: Which court?
Q: Where is the money coming from?
A: MSD is two utilities in one: a wastewater utility and a stormwater utility. The two are funded separately.
Stormwater funds are generated by a very small flat fee on each MSD bill and property taxes that raise $20-$25 million annually. Funding available for stormwater services varies throughout the district, because some areas have higher taxes for stormwater projects within their defined taxing district.
Wastewater projects are funded through rates. Voters approved a bond issue in 2012 that allows MSD to raise rates gradually over time for wastewater projects only.
Between March and June 2014, MSD will be conducting community outreach regarding stormwater services in the region.
Q: Is funding in place for the out years?
A: Wastewater is set. Stormwater is in deficit.
Q: Will we receive addresses for stormwater disconnection properties?
A: We’ll work to describe the area to you and provide addresses when we can.