The Wastewater Division is funded by sewer service charges and connection fees. The primary goal of the division is to treat, reclaim, and utilize wastewater in accordance with federal, state, and local regulatory requirements in order to protect the environment for the City and the surrounding area.
Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Addition
Sewer Cleanout Information
The division operates and maintains the wastewater treatment facility for the purpose of treating all wastewater received. Once the water has been treated, it is discharged into the Sager Creek for recreational use. The wastewater treatment is designed to treat 4.4 million gallons per day (MGD).
Another Wastewater Division function is monitoring and regulating industrial wastewater discharges, and determining sewer service charges and connection fees for properties receiving City sewer service.
Wastewater discharge to the City sewer system is regulated by Ordinance 749 of the Siloam Springs Municipal Code.
Industrial users (IUs) who propose to discharge industrial wastewater into the sewer system must complete an application for a wastewater discharge permit.
More specific information regarding applications, charges, and fees can be obtained by contacting the Wastewater Division at (479) 524-5623, P.O. Box 80, 400 N. Broadway, Siloam Springs, AR, 72761.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is wastewater?
A: Wastewater is "used" water, generated by homes, industry, schools and businesses. On the average, each person in the United States contributes 50 to 100 gallons of wastewater everyday. If you turn on your faucet and wash your hands, run the garbage disposal, take a shower, or flush the toilet, once it's in the drainpipe, it becomes wastewater, which is also called "sewage".
Q: How does water get polluted?
A: The water you use doesn't go away. Whatever goes down the drain ends up at the treatment plant. While the plant effectively removes settled and organic materials, it is not designed to remove certain chemicals and metals. So, when toxic chemicals are dumped or rinsed down household drains, they pass through the system largely untreated and end up in the creek where they may threaten sensitive aquatic life. In addition, anything that goes down a storm drain goes directly to creeks and streams, eventually passing untreated into the Illinois River.
Q: What is wastewater treatment?
A: Wastewater treatment is the process of cleaning used water so that it can be returned safely to the environment. Wastewater treatment is the last line of defense against water pollution, protecting public health and the aquatic organisms in the receiving water. Before modern treatment methods were instituted, wastewater went directly to streams and rivers, often to the places where people bathed, washed their clothes, and gathered drinking water. Because of this, many people suffered from diseases, such as cholera, typhoid and diphtheria, caused by contaminated water.
Q: Are toxic chemicals a problem?
A: Yes. Toxic chemicals present a couple of different problems. First, most treatment plants were not designed to remove toxins, and therefore these chemicals may pass untreated into the receiving water, or cause the resulting bio-solids to be classified as "hazardous waste," which significantly raises disposal costs. In addition, as the heart of the treatment process is the body of living microorganisms, these can be poisoned and rendered ineffective, adding to the harmful impact of untreated wastewater on the environment. The Environmental Compliance Division enforces prohibitions against discharge of toxins by businesses, however, it is individual citizens who monitor what goes down their household drains.
Q: How much wastewater does the Siloam Springs plant treat?
A: On the average, about 2.6 million gallons per day (that's more than 1,800 gallons per minute!) are treated at the plant. During storm events, plant flow can peak at a rate of over 4.4 million gallons per day (almost 3,000 gallons per minute!).
Q: How do we know that the plant is run well?
A: The Wastewater Treatment Plant operates under a discharge permit issued by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, by authority of the US Environmental Protection Agency. This discharge permit specifies operating conditions, including strict discharge limitations on the final effluent. Operating personnel are required to be certified by the State of Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, at a level corresponding to the level of complexity and the design flow of the plant. Mechanics and Laboratory staff is certified by Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality too in their fields of expertise. In addition, the Laboratory is accredited by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, and must pass regular Performance Evaluations and biennial site audits. The plant is also inspected annually by staff from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.
Q: Why is the plant located where it is?
A: The site is the lowest point and in close proximity to Sager Creek, where the original discharge point was located. Over the years, the plant has expanded to meet the capacity needs of the service area.
Q: What is done at the plant to control odors?
A: The primary sources of odors in a treatment plant are the open tanks. The solids handling building is meant to be closed, to contain process odors. These units have varying types of odor-chemical and biological odor-treating processes. Plant staff is aware of the potential impact of odors on the surrounding neighborhood, and strive to operate and maintain the equipment to minimize potential impact of any transient odors.
Q: Are there other sources of odor in the area?
A: Agricultural livestock activities can result in odor, especially in the spread of manure waste. In addition, natural degradation of vegetation in the streams and channels can cause odors at certain times during the year. Maintenance on the peripheral pumping stations can also result in unusual smells.
Q: How long does it take to clean the wastewater?
A: On the average, a drop of wastewater will spend about 12 hours traveling through the plant while undergoing treatment.
Q: How many people work at the Wastewater Treatment Plant?
A: We currently have 4 full-time employees, including administrative, operations, and laboratory and maintenance personnel.
Listed below are the functions of the Waste Water Treatment Plant staff and contact information. If you cannot reach an individual there, please leave a message and a staff member will return your call promptly.
Phone: (479) 524-5136
Plant Manager/Pretreatment Coordinator
Name: Thomas Myers
Phone: (479) 524-5623
Fax: (479) 524-4653