You Paid For It: MSD Rain Gardens

Posted on: 9:13 pm, November 20, 2012, by , updated on: 06:33pm, November 20, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – The You Paid For It Team investigates all the money MSD is spending on Rain Gardens and Planter boxes in North St. Louis to solve its sewer problems. The pilot program is costing taxpayers $3 Million Dollars to iron out the kinks and see if it all works as it’s supposed to. MSD says plans call for it to spend $100 Million Dollars putting Rain Gardens, Planter boxes and other Green Infrastructure items throughout the City of St. Louis and North County.

EPA ordered MSD to take further steps to clean up the water. The Rain Gardens and Planter boxes are an experiment to see if that will stop so much rainwater flowing into the sewers.  But, of lot of the success depends residents maintaining the Rain Gardens and Planter Boxes and there’s no guarantee that will happen.

Further, the head of the St Louis County Municipal League thinks the whole MSD-EPA deal is a poor use of the public’s money, saying studies show it won’t make much difference at all in water quality.

Tim Fischesser calls the plan a bad use of taxpayers’ money.

We caught up with the head of MSD who defended this deal.

Another MSD Green project was spending $75,000 as part of the cost of putting in green alleys.  The total cost of the alleys was $280,000. The St. Louis city picked up the balance of the tab.

After the alleys were put in, it turned out they are too time consuming to maintain.

MSD is committed to spend $4 Billion dollars in a variety of infrastructure measures, in the forced deal with EPA.

Ratepayers passed a bond issue that will raise their rates to about $80 a month over the next ten years.

Fischesser says there won’t be much change in water quality, even after all that money is spent.

You can see my Investigation on You Paid For It.