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Part of Mississippi River might face stricter rules, after all

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Water skiers on the Mississippi River are part of the reason the MO DNR is asking for stronger water regulations. Here, Kevin Day takes his two dogs for a ride before his annual New Years Day water skiing display. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Stricter water regulations might be enforced soon on the Mississippi River, after all.

In September, the Missouri Clean Water Commission removed a portion of the Mississippi from new rules meant to bring the state in line with the federal Clean Water Act.

But the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is asking the commission to include the Mississippi River, following further public comment.

"Most of the comments indicated to us that there was some recreational use being made of the river, in some cases swimming," said Phil Schroeder, chief of DNR's water quality monitoring and assessment. "So it led us to believe that people do use the river for swimming purposes."

The river's inclusion in the rules would mean stricter bacteria standards, possibly requiring the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District to disinfect discharge at more of its treatment plants.

The Clean Water Commission will vote on the matter Wednesday.

The stricter rules for other waterways go into effect Monday. DNR also is recommending more study of the use of the River des Peres and Maline Creek. The commission had also removed those streams from the stricter rules.

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