DNR investigates sewage bypasses in Boone and Randolph counties

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-422 For Immediate Release: Nov. 10, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY , MO. -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is investigating two sewage bypasses in Boone and Randolph counties that were reported to the department on Monday.

Officials from the Boone County Sewer District reported to the department late Monday morning they had discovered the accidental discharge of sludge from the Clearview wastewater treatment facility in northeast Columbia . A malfunction at the plant resulted in the release of an undetermined amount of sludge from the plant’s final clarifier into an unnamed tributary of Rocky Fork Creek.

Sewer district crews had completed a cleanup of the tributary before the investigator left the scene on Monday. It is unknown if any of the sludge made its way to Rocky Fork Creek.

Moberly city officials notified the department late Monday morning of a bypass that was discovered Saturday evening after roots blocking a sewer line caused an undetermined amount of untreated waste and carbon sludge from the city’s drinking water plant to escape through a sewer manhole near 1702 Lakewood Drive . The majority of the material released was believed to be the carbon sludge and backwash water from the regular cleaning of filters at the drinking water plant.

An investigation of the site determined some of the sludge did reach nearby Rothwell Lake, although no harm to aquatic life in the lake was observed.

The release of untreated sewage from sewer systems represents a potential threat to public health and the environment.

To report an environmental emergency, including sewage overflows, please contact the DNR spill line at 573-634-2436. For more information contact the department at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-3443, or visit the department's Web page at dnr.mo.gov.