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Talking CoMo Drinking Water – A Panel Discussion

Presentation and Discussion with Deidra McClendon, Dr. Enos Inniss, Marie-Josee Brown and Julie Ryan

Our panel of experts will look at some recent news surrounding the City of Columbia Drinking Water supply, bringing facts and different perspectives to the table to help us understand these complex issues.

McBaine Drinking Water

An aerial view of the City of Columbia Drinking Water Treatment plant in the McBaine Bottoms south of Columbia next to the Missouri River.

Time and Place

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
7:00 pm

Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro
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Presentation and Discussion with:

Deidra McClendon, Lab Supervisor, Columbia Water & Light
Dr. Enos Inniss, University of Missouri Civil and Environmental Engineering
Marie-Josee Brown and Julie Ryan, CoMo Safe Water Coalition

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Please NOTE – The Les Bourgeois Bistro restaurant is no longer open on Tuesdays. The bar will be open during our presentation. You can always get a sandwich before the talk at the beautiful A-Frame Next Door!

Presentation is FREE and open to the public!

The City of Columbia’s drinking water comes from a series of wells in the McBaine Bottoms, adjacent to the Missouri and just north of Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. The wells are classified as groundwater from an alluvial aquifer that flows from the hills near Rocheport. The current classification of this aquifer says that it is not chemically influenced by water from either the Missouri River or locally from the McBaine bottoms themselves.

McBaine Bottoms

This map shows the locations of the City of Columbia drinking water well field, unit wetlands of the wastewater treatment system, Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area and the Missouri River.

Last year local residents Marie-Josee Brown and Julie Ryan began to look into concerns about the city’s use of chloramine as part of their drinking water treatment regime after learning about the issue from national environmentalist Erin Brokovich. By researching the subject, and a lot of the science available on the McBaine bottoms water wells, they came to the conclusion that the aquifer is influenced by either the Missouri River, the wastewater treatment wetlands at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area or both. If that is true, and the well field requires reclassification, it could mean upgrades to the drinking water treatment system may be required.

With the tragedy in Flint, MI, issues of drinking water quality and delivery have been brought to the awareness of many communities. In response to these and other concerns, the Columbia City Council has formed a new 10 person group to look at a long term plan on water quality called Drinking Water Planning Work Group.

Tonight, we are joined by several people with different perspectives and expertise on this complex issue (too complex for this little announcement!). Deidra McClendon, Lab Supervisor at Columbia Water & Light, will share the basics of Columbia’s water system, and the reasons behind specific treatments.  Dr. Enos Inniss, an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Missouri was involved in a Missouri Water Resources Research Center (MoWRRC) study of the Columbia drinking water supply and issued a set of recommendations to the city at that time. Marie-Josee Brown and Julie Ryan formed the organization CoMo Safe Water Coalition last year as they began researching Columbia’s drinking water supply. In addition, CW&L Director Floyd Turner and Assistant Director Ryan Williams will also be on hand to field questions.

We hope you’ll come with your questions and concerns about drinking water. The City is currently in the midst of a long term water quality planning process – so what better time to discuss these important issues?


  • 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO
  • Take I-70 to the Rocheport, MO, exit (Exit #115). It’s the first exit east of the Missouri River.
  • Head north toward Rocheport.
  • After about a mile, turn left at the sign for Les Bourgeois Bistro. Follow the signs to the Bistro. You will probably need to park in the lot above the Bistro and walk the trail down.
  • The presentations are held in upstairs in the restaurant. The restaurant is no longer open on Tuesdays but the bar is! You are welcome to bring your own food or snacks.

Resources & Links

Dig Deeper for more info on this topic –

The Big Muddy Speaker Series in Rocheport

is hosted by these wonderful partners.

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Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»

Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Kansas City and St. Charles.

The Big Muddy Speaker Series is partially funded by the Mo. Dept. of Conservation.