Why was Ozarks Clean Water Company (OCWC) formed?
Decentralized wastewater systems require professional operation, maintenance and management for success. OCWC can have a sufficient number of customers to be able to hire and retain qualified staff to provide these services, and to provide permanent management of the systems it owns.
How was the Company formed? Table Rock Lake Water Quality Inc. (now part of Ozarks Water Watch) received an EPA grant to help with protection of water quality in Table Rock Lake. OCWC is one result of the grant project that will become a permanent part of the wastewater treatment solution matrix in this area. Similar efforts will likely occur elsewhere as others watch this project and its success.
What legal basis does the Company have? Missouri Statutes sections 393.825 to 393.861 provide for the formation of not-for profit sewer companies. The Company is recognized by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as a legal entity to own and operate wastewater collection and treatment systems.
What are some of the benefits of working with Ozarks Clean Water Company?
●OCWC relieves developers & homeowners of the day to day hassles and difficulties involved with wastewater systems.
●Developers do not have to form associations to meet continuing operating authority requirements.
●The Company’s credibility with local regulatory agencies, our familiarity with the permitting process and assistance in this critical aspect of development is a significant benefit.
●OCWC assumes all legal liability associated with the wastewater system which is a major benefit.
●Level and predictable costs are benefits to homeowners.
●Technical assistance in selecting, designing and permitting cost effective environmentally sound systems is provided by Company management
Does the Company need to own the real estate where a system is located? No. The Company needs to own the system itself but not necessarily the land it is located on. Permanent easement or reversion rights for treatment plant sites that may be abandoned in the future are acceptable to OCWC.
Is there a minimum or maximum size of system that OCWC will accept? No. Any system from a single family home up to large subdivisions may be accepted.
What is the Company’s service area? The Company can legally operate anywhere in
Missouri. However, as a practical matter the Company has focused its efforts around Table Rock Lake and the Springfield / Branson area.
Is the Company regulated by the Missouri Public Service Commission? No, the enabling statutes specifically exempt non-profit sewer companies from PSC regulatory authority.
Who sets the rates? The rates are set by the OCWC Board of Directors (made up of members).
How are the Board of Directors nominated?
The board is chosen annually from the current members (customers) of the OCWC by the membership via vote.
What is the rate? Customers are charged monthly on a case-by-case basis according to the circumstances and maintenance requirements of the sewer and/or water system that serves them.
What does the rate cover? For clustered systems, complete operation and maintenance of the wastewater system for all components outside the home, including repairs when needed and septic tank pumping if a septic tank is part of the system. Advanced individual on-site systems have certain items that are not covered by the rate.
Who owns the Company? OCWC is a non-profit, member-owned company, like an electric cooperative.
How do I become a member? Anyone who applies for and receives services is a member of the Company.
Who pays for the system to be installed? Typically, systems are installed either by a subdivision developer or homeowner. Rates currently do not have any debt service component.
How can I be assured rates do not skyrocket? OCWC is a non-profit corporation governed by its’ members. Rates must cover expenses but no one in Company management has a motive to collect more than is necessary.
Who takes care of the systems?
OCWC contracts with Ozarks Environmental Services for this work.
What kind of system will the Company accept? Any system capable of operating in compliance with permitted limits. Older or failing systems will necessarily need to be brought up to reasonable condition prior to OCWC taking ownership.
How many customers do you have? We currently serve over 1,600 property owners.