SULLIVAN COUNTY, Mo. – As the East Locust Creek Reservoir Project is underway, measures to remove potentially hazardous materials from the construction site will be hard at work as well.


The East Locust Creek Reservoir Project is an effort by the North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission to build a 2,350 acre water supply reservoir to serve 54,000 residents in the counties of Adair, Chariton, Grundy, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Mercer, Putnam, Schuyler, and Sullivan.

The proposed location for the reservoir is within the East Locust Creek watershed in Sullivan County, Missouri, requiring acquisition from 84 property owners of 4,300 acres of land.

Click here to listen to KMZU’s Ashley Johnson talk with Brad Scott, General Manager of the North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission:

Brad Scott, General Manager of the North Central Missouri Water Commission, said that though they have just recently received the funds needed to get started, the reservoir project is an endeavor that’s been on the Commission’s mind for years.

“The East Locust Creek Reservoir Project has been a dream up in North Central Missouri for about 30 years, and in the last seven, it’s really picked up steam,” stated Scott. “[The reservoir] will be the 28th largest lake in Missouri, and it’s being built because of the chronic water shortage in the area.”

Scott also said around 28 water supplies have depleted in the last 30 years, and the only option for North Central Missouri is the construction of a lake.

“Our situation in North Central Missouri is much different than the rest of the state where folks can dig wells,” said Scott. “Because of the glacial movement into Missouri, it has left our underground aquifers briny and untreatable. So, our only option in this area is water impoundment, in other words, a lake.”

A big concern for the Commission is the prevention of contamination that would threaten public health and the environment during the process of structure demolition and reservoir inundation. A $98,300 Environmental Protection Agency grant has been secured to remove all Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) from the area.

A company out of Kansas City, Tetra Tech, was contracted to oversee the effort. Tetra Tech has chosen Patriot Abatement Services out of Olathe, Kansas, to conduct physical removal of HHW and ACM for the first round of buildings. Over half of the structures will have been attended to once they’ve completed.

The Commission is seeking another grant for clean-up procedures on the remaining structures that had not yet been acquired when the original grant was submitted. Additionally, the Commission is nearing the end of land acquisition, with 10 individual property owners, the Boynton Church and MoDOT properties remaining to be taken care of.

Scott stated citizens shouldn’t be worried about potential contamination, as the Commission will do all it can to attend to any issue.

“There’s been considerable testing that is required of us, so we’ve got a pretty good handle on what’s in the footprint of the reservoir,” stated Scott. “And we will address it.”

To learn more about this project and to view maps of the East Locust Creek Watershed, click here.