Preparations to ensure clean water for the residents of Ridge Creek are underway, after the agreement to transfer responsibility for their water system has been officially transferred to the City of St. Robert.

Terry Jarrett, who became receiver for the subdivision following previous legal action, recently sent a notice to the residents after the agreement became official.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have entered into an agreement with the City of St. Robert for the City to temporarily assume operational and system maintenance responsibility for the water system,” Jarrett writes. “Importantly, the City will also purchase, install and operate chlorinators on the three wells (7, 8 and 12) as required by DNR.”

Jarrett also wrote in his message that he is “pursuing the possible sale of the water system to the City as a permanent solution,” and as instructed the current operator of the subdivision’s system to fully cooperate with the City as they implement the transfer of operations and maintenance.

“Hopefully we will be able to keep any problems or issues,” to a minimum,” Jarrett writes.

There is currently no timeline for the transition, according to Jarrett, but the receiver wrote he will provide updates on the process as they occur. He also thanked residents of the Ridge Creek subdivision for their patience and cooperation in the matter.

The subdivision’s water problem began in 2014, and stems from the sewer treatment system put in place by the developers, according to sources interviewed by the Daily Guide in previous articles. Pulaski County Assessor Don Mayhew, was one such source and explained how the STEP system used by the developers led to the residents’ dilemma.

“Of the different varieties of wastewater collections…the STEP system is the bottom of that rung…” said Mayhew in a previous interview. “It’s even lower than an on-site system. You would only use a STEP system as a last resort.

Additionally, many homes in the subdivision are connected to the same wells. While this is allowable, it’s not recommended due to the potential for contaminated water.

Because of the contaminated water, and the expense of trying to bring the system up to standards, Ridge Creek residents were also faced with an increased monthly water bill. Many homeowners found their bills doubled.

In July of 2017, the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC), filed a complaint against Ridge Creek Development, alleging the company “failed to provide safe and adequate service, and the company does not engage in water quality testing or treatment to ensure its safety for human consumption.”

The following May, Terry Jarrett was appointed as legal receiver by the MPSC and assumed control and operations of the Ridge Creek Water Company and Ridge Creek Development. His immediate duty was to “protect the public from the threat of unsafe and inadequate water service,” according to a release issued at the time by the MPSC.

With the City of St. Robert preparing to make quality changes to Ridge Creek’s water supply, this threat of inadequate water service will soon be taken care of.

As posted in a previous article about the issue, the solution came in the form of a special St. Robert Board of Alderman meeting on September 21, where board members voted on an ordinance to authorize the mayor to “execute the due diligence agreement with Terry M. Jarrett…”

In order to meet standards set by the Department of Natural Resources, chlorinators need to be placed on three of the twenty-two wells. With the agreement in place, the City of St. Robert will be paying for these chlorinators to be installed as well as be responsible for their installation and the operation of the wells. The City will also be collected the water bills sent to residents and setting the rates.