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Published on Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) was assigned an AAA rating from Standard & Poor, an AA+ from Fitch, and an Aa1 from Moody's for approximately $150 million wastewater system revenue bonds, series 2013B. These bonds are part of a 945M bond authorization approved by 85% of voters in June 2012, of which 277M has been issued, leaving 668M remaining prior to this bonding. The bonds are scheduled to sell via negotiated sale the week of December 2, 2013.

The District has compiled a list of more than 200 projects which will be financed with the proceeds of the Series 2013B bonds, pay-as-you-go revenues of the System and future financings under the Bond Ordinance, including:

  • Coldwater Sanitary Relief Section B, C & D Wet Weather Storage Facility Tank C @ $16.3 million.
    • This is an above ground storage tank that will be used in wet weather to alleviate overflows and basement backups.
  • Bissell - Coldwater - Missouri - Meramec Public I/I Reduction (2015) Contract D @ $7.6 million.
    • I/I reduction stands for inflow and infiltration - excess water that flows into sewer pipes from groundwater and stormwater is called infiltration and inflow. Groundwater (infiltration) seeps into sewer pipes through holes, cracks, joint failures, and faulty connections. Stormwater (inflow) rapidly flows into sewers via roof drain downspouts, foundation drains, storm drain cross-connections, and through holes in manhole covers. Most I/I is caused by aging infrastructure that needs maintenance or replacement.  This project addresses the I/I in the Bissell - Coldwater - Missouri – Meramec watersheds.  Addresses overflows and basement backups.
  • Black Creek I/I Reduction @ $7.4 million.
    • Same as above, but in the Black Creek watershed.
  • UR-10 Mendell and Wolter Sanitary Relief (SKME-595) @ $7.18 million
    • Sewer construction and rehabilitation.  Addresses overflows and basement backups.
  • Harlem - Baden Relief Phase IV (Hebert) (Improvements from Basin to Hamilton Trunk) @ $6.5 million.
    • Sewer separation and relief sewer construction.  Addresses overflows and basement backups.

Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'AAA' rating on the District’s outstanding wastewater system revenue bonds. The ratings outlook for MSD is stable. In addition, Fitch affirmed the 'AA+' rating on MSD’s existing revenue-secured debt. The outlook is stable. Moody’s also reaffirmed the District’s ‘Aa1’ rating, with a stable outlook. The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District serves a population of approximately 1.3 million and roughly 425,000 accounts. Established in 1954, the District provides wastewater treatment and stormwater services to both the city of St. Louis and the parts of St. Louis County. The ratings reflect the District’s: · Strong and diverse service area economy covering the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County; · Large, diversified customer base; · Moderate rates not subject to outside regulation; · Strong financial operations, with strong pro forma debt service coverage; and · Strong management policies and planning capabilities. The bonds are secured by pledged revenues of the District's sanitary sewer system after payment of operations and maintenance expenses. Credit ratings express the agencies’ opinions about the ability and willingness of an issuer, such as a corporation or state or city government, to meet its financial obligations in full and on time and help to determine the interest rates at which the bonds are able to be sold.