Close this search box.
Close this search box.

January Monthly Meeting Recap:

Greene County Septic Remediation Panel held at Watershed's 2024 January Monthly Meeting

Brent Stock and Todd Wilkinson with James River Basin Partnership, Tammy Trantham with Missouri Smallflows, Jerry Harmin and Carin Love with H2Ozarks, Michaell Bowers with Greene County, and Watershed’s Stacey Armstrong Smith, held a panel discussing the Greene County Septic Remediation Project. The project protects water quality while assisting the James and Sac River watershed residents in Greene County by replacing failing septic systems.

Mr. Wilkinson said the group is pleased to offer a septic system remediation program to James and Sac River Watershed residents. Their funding comes from the Greene County American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). They received $133,000 in funding for the project, and $90,000 was specifically earmarked for homeowner assistance grants. This project provides cost-share assistance to the homeowner based on specific eligibility requirements. 

Tammy Trantham showed before and after photos of the projects and explained some of the challenges confronted working on the homeowner sites, such as small lot sizes and utility lines in the yards. Mr. Stock said they could replace five systems with the funding; four have already been installed, and the fifth one will be replaced this month. The panel discussed the need for more funding to help replace failing systems across the Ozarks and past and current projects. Replacing the systems provides water quality benefits and physical and mental health benefits for homeowners and their families. The panel agreed that continued education and outreach are needed.


  • All the participants’ properties were on the outskirts of the Springfield metro area when the program was initially expected to focus on more rural areas of the James and Sac River watersheds.
  • No two systems were alike in terms of technology and cost.
  • Small lots were extremely challenging to replace failing systems regarding equipment (backhoes, etc.) and design.
  • None of the participants could have paid for replacement up front and then asked for reimbursement.
  • Regarding septic system replacement, $100,000 is not a lot of money.
  • Besides the water quality benefits, there was also a very personal one for each homeowner in terms of physical & mental health, property values, etc.
  • More education/outreach is needed in terms of septic systems.
  • With continued urbanization in the Ozarks, this will be an ongoing problem for years to come.
  • One possible solution is county ordinances for transfer treatment systems on sale.
  • “Home inspectors aren’t necessarily waste-water subject matter experts.”

Missouri Department of Conservation Quarterly Update:

Missouri Department of Conservation Update: Kara Tvedt: Ms. Tvedt said MDC Director Sarah Parker Pauley is retiring at the end of MDC’s fiscal year, June 30, 2024.

MDC will begin recruiting a new Director. She said a new Community Forester, Justin Holmes, was hired locally. The tiered approach to community conservation practices is complete and ready to be in use. The tiers base what percentage of cost share will be provided, such as 75% for Tier 2 areas and 90% for Tier 1 areas. MDC will focus on the winter removal of white-tail deer in certain areas to help control the population and the spread of CWD.

Floating wetlands are in demand in the area; they provide water quality benefits and fish and wildlife habitat. This is also and educational opportunity to show other organizations and partners how they are deployed and used.

Regional Issues:

Mr. Coonrod shared the slaughterhouse permit in Greene County was withdrawn. Carin Love said H2Ozarks was awarded $2.575 million in grant funds for septic remediation projects in Missouri. This does include the headwaters of the James River. She asked the project information be shared to increase awareness of the funds for the area.