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KPAX News kpax.com 25 Jan, 2023 19:15 am

DEQ approves options for Missoula South Hills stormwater improvements

DEQ approves options for Missoula South Hills stormwater improvements
The South Hills stormwater is eventually dumped into the Bitterroot River, and improvements are needed to keep more pollution out of the river.

MISSOULA - Cost and water quality improvements drive the state of Montana’s recommendations for Missoula’s plan to improve stormwater drainage for the South Hills.Last week, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued an environmental assessment with its preferred recommendations for how the city of Missoula should improve stormwater drainage from the South Hills, given the amount of grant money available.The South Hills stormwater system has to drain an area of almost 15 square miles but has been found lacking in recent decades, as more urban development covered the slopes and natural springs popped up as the result of earthquakes in 2016 and 2020.The South Hills stormwater is eventually dumped into the Bitterroot River, and improvements are needed to keep more pollution out of the river.

Finally, Phase 3 would expand the South Hills infiltration capacity or its ability to handle stormwater overflow.It also uses smaller dry wells spaced at various intervals along a street where the water can collect and diffuse from wells several dozen feet deep.

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