Draft water quality plan under review

A plan that could affect sewage treatment plant expansions in Mohave County is being reviewed by a committee of public officials, a consultant said.

A technical advisory committee is reviewing the preliminary revision of the county's water quality management plan, regulatory specialist Jody Noble said.

Noble is with Stantec, a Phoenix-based consulting firm hired by the county to update a plan initially adopted in 1978.

The Section 208 plan for water quality and sewage treatment is required under the provisions of the federal Clean Water Act.

The plan would identify federal funds to be used for paying for new sewer plants or expanding plants in the portion of the county outside the Indian reservation.

Noble said she and consultant Jill Himes of Chandler plan to go over the draft by the end of the month with county Planning and Zoning Director Chris Ballard, who heads the committee.

Noble and Himes began revising the plan three months ago at City Hall in Kingman.

"We're going through revisions internally right now," Himes said.

"Right now, it has pretty minor (changes), a few minor things with the cities.

They have additional technical information like about where the water service is and where the sewer service is and where the wastewater plants are, and things like the capacity of their wastewater treatment plants."

The revised plan will not affect homeowners, but it could apply to developers and cities, Noble said.

She said developers could have to apply to the county for an amendment under the plan if they want to install prefabricated sewage treatment plants or a septic tank cluster systems that serve several homes.

Noble said city governments will need to apply to the county for an amendment that would allow them to expand existing sewage plants.

She said a 208 plan is "kind of a baseline data of where the county is now in terms of water quality management."

The plan, she said, will contain Geographic Information System maps that include current and planned service area boundaries for sewage treatment plants within the county as well as maps of watersheds (basins) and water bodies such as Lake Mead.

Noble said the committee will forward the draft plan to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, which will have a month to review it.

Supervisors would vote on it after a 30-day public comment period.

The supervisors must adopt the final plan by June 30, Noble said, adding ADEQ and the federal Environmental Protection Agency have the final say.

She said the process could take a year to 18 months.

Ballard could not be reached for comment.

For more information, send an e-mail to Plan208@stantec.com.