The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will present a Performance and Innovation in the State Revolving Fund Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) Award to the City of Missoula, Mont., for improving its wastewater treatment process and upgrading the capacity of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
“This EPA award recognizes the city’s innovative use of Montana Water Pollution Control State Revolving Fund program funds to improve water quality," said EPA Region 8 administrator Robert E. Roberts. “The city’s wastewater treatment plant upgrade combined local, state and federal money to complete a project that benefited not only the citizens of Missoula, but all of western Montana and northern Idaho."
The $18.7 million upgrade project increased the City of Missoula’s Wastewater Treatment Plant’s capacity to accommodate the rapidly growing Missoula area and allowed the city to connect more than 1,000 existing septic systems and more than 500 homes on failed community wastewater treatment systems. It also voluntarily connected an industrial point discharger that was contributing more than 40 pounds of phosphorus per day to the Clark Fork River, all without deterioration of the facility’s effluent quality.
The project also converted the existing activated sludge secondary treatment system to a biological nutrient removal process, thus reducing nitrogen and phosphorus loading in the Clark Fork River by 70 and 80 percent respectively.
The State Revolving Fund programs, authorized and funded by the Clean Water Act, allow states to provide low interest loans to wastewater systems to assist them in meeting wastewater infrastructure needs. The states then select projects for funding.