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On Earth Day, Springfield Dedicates New Clean Water Operations Building

Claire Kidwell

The Springfield Environmental Services Department dedicated its new Clean Water Operations building on Earth Day.

Assistant Director Errin Kemper says Friday’s ribbon cutting and open house helps to increase awareness of the city’s sustainability and sanitary efforts.

“Our sanitary sewer collections system is one of Springfield’s most important and largest assets, and so this allows us to expand out staffing…to provide the best operations and maintenance of that critical facility.”

Citizens were able to view meet employees and witness schematics on where the water comes from and how it gets treated.

Kemper says, “This 12,000 square foot building is the new home of the clean water services division, including several of its programs including industrial pre-treatment, our fats, oils, and grease or FOG program, and our private server repair program.”

Visitors were also gifted a bag full of facts about the new building and clean water efforts, such as through recycling and safely disposing of chemicals.

The new building was constructed to LEED Silver specifications, which includes “a rooftop rain water harvesting system feeding a 2,900 gallon cistern, pervious pavement, light shelves, and a rain garden” according to Kemper. These specifications are in accordance to Springfield’s commitment to environmental responsible construction.

The overall cost of the building was $2,756,928, and was funded by the Clean Water Services Enterprise Fund.

Barbara Lucks, the sustainability officer for the city for Springfield, says dedicating the building on Earth Day was not a coincidence.

“What we like to hope with this Earth Day is that people just don’t think about the environment just on Earth Day, but they will actually find an organization or a group…or a project that they would like to continue so they could they can actually do things and engage in those good activities year round.”

She also added that the new building is open to all, and officials would love to have guests come see what’s going on and explore this new facility “that we’re going to see service well for a long time.”