Our Past, Your Future
The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District was created on February 9, 1954 when voters approved a plan to combine 79 regional sewer districts into one city-wide system for the collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater. But our roots go back much earlier. Some of the earliest sewer pipes in the St. Louis region were built in the 1850s.
In 2012, MSD launched Project Clear in response to a consent decree agreement between MSD, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. MSD Project Clear is investing billions of dollars over a generation to improve water quality and minimize wastewater and stormwater issues by monitoring regulatory compliance, planning, designing, and building community rainscaping, system improvements, and performing an ambitious program of maintenance and repair.
Originally serving the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County east of I-270, MSD annexed most of the remainder of St. Louis County in 1977. Today, MSD Project Clear serves approximately 1.3 million people over 520 square miles and five major watersheds in the land bordered by Highway 109 on the west to the Mississippi, Missouri, and Meramac Rivers. Our current system consists of wastewater, stormwater and combined collection sewers, pumping stations, and wastewater treatment facilities.
Collection and Trunk Sewers and Force Mains
MSD owns and maintains over 9,600 miles of collection and trunk sewers and force mains, ranging in size from six inches to 29 feet in diameter. With sewers ranging in age from one to more than 150 years old, maintaining this blend of old and new infrastructure creates unique challenges. Approximately 524 miles are more than 80 years old and 311 miles are more than 120 years old. Sewers are classified as wastewater, stormwater, or combined. Wastewater sewers accommodate household and industrial waste, while storm sewers carry rainwater and surface water runoff. Combined sewers carry both. Our system includes approximately 4,700 miles of wastewater sewers and force mains, 3,000 miles of stormwater sewers and force mains, and 1,700 miles of combined sewers. MSD maintains the system from three regional facilities called maintenance yards.
Pumping Stations and Force Mains
MSD owns and maintains approximately 279 pumping stations and 116 miles of force mains. Pump station and force main support is divided into three geographic regions under a pump station manager. All pump stations are maintained regularly and monitored continuously. Of our 270+ stations, 37 are floodwall, overflow regulation, and wet weather relief tank stations, five are stormwater and the remaining 230+ are wastewater and combined sewage pump stations which move the flow of wastewater through the system and into treatment plants.
Wastewater Treatment Facilities
MSD owns and operates seven wastewater treatment facilities treating an average flow of 350+ million gallons of wastewater per day. The Bissell Point and Lemay wastewater treatment plants are our two largest plants. Both serve the Mississippi River watershed. The Coldwater Creek and Missouri River wastewater treatment plants service the Missouri River watershed. The remaining treatment plants serve the Meramec River watershed.