The main responsibility of the City of St. Marys' wastewater facilities is to preserve and protect human health and the environment by transporting wastewater from residential, commercial, and industrial sources to the wastewater plant and treating it to acceptable levels before discharge to the St. Marys River. St. Marys citizens first addressed wastewater in 1908 when they built one of the first complete wastewater facilities in Ohio. Today our wastewater facilities serve a population of over 10,000 people.
Wastewater pumped into the Wastewater Treatment Plant undergoes complex treatment to remove pollutants using physical, biological, and chemical processes. The plant operates under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued by EPA, which specifies and limits the types and amounts of pollutants that can be discharged to the St. Marys River. We do an excellent job of meeting State and Federal limits and produce an acceptable discharge. The treatment plant also processes solids that are removed or generated during the treatment process. Treated solids, known as biosolids, are applied to farmland. Laboratory tests are performed routinely each day to ensure that each process is operating at peak levels. The wastewater collection system consists of about 1,008 manholes and 45 miles of underground sanitary sewers that convey domestic and industrial sewage to lift stations where pumps send the sewage to the plant for treatment. The collection system encompasses all of St. Marys. We also treat the Wastewater from several Auglaize County owned systems bordering Grand Lake St. Marys.
The City of St. Marys has established long range plans and goals that help guide studies and improvements necessary to maintain adequate wastewater facilities and meet constantly changing EPA requirements. These plans and goals are reviewed each year and adjusted as needed. Over the years, these plans have resulted in the regular replacement of essential equipment, and the construction of a new treatment plant, new lift stations, major trunk sanitary sewers, and infrastructure to extend services into new areas. Ongoing studies include those that address sanitary sewer and lift station flow capacities, storm water entering the system during high rain events, and sanitary sewer improvements to optimize the handling of high flows.