TERRE HAUTE, Ind.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--When Terre Haute, Indiana, got the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mandate to comply with the 1972 Clean Water Act, it was challenged to solve the same problems faced by hundreds of municipalities around the country – its decades-old sewer system periodically spewing raw sewage into the nearby river that serves as its main water supply.
The EPA, with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) as its agent, has been aggressively enforcing the mandates issued to 108 cities and towns located on rivers, streams and lakes around the state.
In Terre Haute, a city of 61,000 in west-central Indiana, city leaders devised a plan that would turn the challenge of the federal clean-up mandate into an opportunity. Employing vision, planning and out-of-the-box thinking, they hammered out a solution that meets EPA mandates to reduce combined sewage overflow (CSO) discharges into the Wabash River with the least possible burden on sewage customers.
That solution is helping rid Terre Haute of a long-standing image problem, while at the same time improving its chances for economic development and reclaiming riverfront land for wetlands and recreation. City officials call it a “win-win-win.”