Center Creek 201 Wastewater Treatment Plant (FILE PHOTO)

Center Creek 201 name comes from Section 201 of the Clean Water Act

A question recently came up regarding our sewage treatment plant’s name: “Where did the 201 come from?”

It’s been known as the Center Creek 201 Wastewater Treatment Plant ever since Webb City and Carterville passed bond issues to build it in the late 1980s.

Oronogo has since joined the operation, making the plant serve and be operated by three cities. Each of the cities is represented on the Center Creek 201 Board of Directors.

The question of where the 201 portion of the name came from was raised at the notion that Missouri American Water may want to purchase Carterville’s sewage system, along with its water system.

Webb City City Administrator Carl Francis told other 201 board members Thursday that he’d found out 201 refers to Section 201 of the Federal Clean Water Act of 1977.

Prior to the 201 plant, Webb City and Carterville collected their sewage in lagoons before releasing it to Center Creek.

One of the Clean Water Act’s main goals was to eliminate pollutants from being discharged into navigable waters by 1985.

Also the act states, “It is the national policy that federal financial assistance be provided to construct publicly owned waste treatment works.”

Francis said Section 201 and state code are only designed for municipal ownership.

For a private concern, such as Missouri American, to own part of the Center Creek 201 plant, he said it would have to be approved by 201 board members and City Councils of each city.

Members of the 201 board include the three mayors and proportionate number of appointed representatives for each city.

The cost of the operating the plant is based on the amount of flow from each city, which is metered. For November, Josh Farley, waste water superintendent, reported Webb City’s flow accounted for 83.44% of the total. Flows from Oronogo and Carterville were 8.58% and 7.98%, respectively. 

201 board members:

Webb City: Mayor Lynn Ragsdale, Aaron Rice, Gary White and Ed Sumpter.

Carterville: Mayor Alan Griffin, Larry Wald and Brian Bowman.

Oronogo: Mayor Charles Wilkins and Bob Russell.


Carl Francis, Webb City city administrator; William Runkle, Webb City waste water utilities director; Josh Farley, waste water superintendent; Joel Stephens, operator; Rod Surber, secretary/treasurer, and Eric DeGruson, Allgeier Martin and Associates engineer.

The board meets at 5:45 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at Webb City City Hall.

Duenweg request to join 201 on hold

Earlier this year, Duenweg officials asked that their city be allowed to send its sewage to the 201 plant instead of to Joplin’s treatment facility.

Francis said there is nothing new on that request, possibly because of unforeseen setbacks to the plan.

Nevertheless, the board has drawn up an intermunicipal agreement for ownership, operation and maintenance of the 201 plant that would apply to any future public member – not specifically Duenweg.

The agreement will need to be approved by all three city councils before it takes effect.