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County conducting inventory of storm sewer structures

The Platte County Planning and Zoning Department is currently gathering data on existing storm sewer structures within the county as part of a federally-mandated project to improve water quality.

In 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency enacted phase two of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The regulations concern stormwater discharge and require municipalities to obtain a permit from an official NPDES authority. In this case, Platte County must get a permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The main focus of the current inventory survey will be older urban areas of unincorporated Platte County.

County staff will be photographing, measuring and evaluating the current condition of storm sewer structures. These structures include storm sewer inlets, outlets and field inlets. In order to examine these structures, some property may have to be accessed through existing easements. Staff members will be wearing orange vests and will have county identification badges. It will take approximately ten minutes to evaluate and catalog each storm sewer structure.

Platte County Planning and Zoning Director Aaron Schmidt said gathering data on these structures is essential to protecting water quality in the future. "We can monitor water quality by taking tests at the end of storm sewer lines," said Schmidt. "But first, we have to know exactly where these structures are."

Evaluating these structures is just one part of a six-part program the county must complete in order to get the NPDES permit. Some of the other steps involve educating the public about water quality issues and developing guidelines for detecting and addressing illegal discharges into the storm water system.

Anyone with questions about this water quality project should contact the county's Planning and Zoning department at (816) 858-3338.